Moon to meet top US military officer amid rising tension on peninsula

By Yeo Jun-suk

Publiished : Aug 13, 2017 - 18:05
Updated : Aug 13, 2017 - 18:15

  President Moon Jae-in will meet with the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, on Monday to discuss ways to address North Korea’s escalating military threat, South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday.

During the talks, Moon and Dunford are expected to seek measures to counter provocations from the North, which threatened last week to fire intermediate-range ballistic missiles toward the waters near the US island Guam.

The top US general arrived in South Korea on Sunday for a two-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral security cooperation, amid heightened tensions after North Korea threatened to create “enveloping fire” in waters near Guam. His visit to Seoul is a part of his Asian tour, including China and Japan.
 

US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. Yonhap


Monday’s meeting will be attended by the allies’ high-ranking security officials, including Moon’s top security adviser Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s JCS Chairman Gen. Lee Sun-jin, acting US Ambassador to South Korea Marc Napper, and Vincent K. Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea.

Prior to the meeting, Dunford will also hold talks with Defense Minister Song Yong-moo and other top military officers to demonstrate the allies’ readiness posture and Washington’s defense commitment, according to Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense. 

His visit came amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea and the US exchanging bellicose rhetoric over Pyongyang’s threat to attack Guam, home to US strategic bombers, with Hwasong 12 ballistic missiles.

In response to Pyongyang’s threat, US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his warnings against the regime, saying a military option is “locked and loaded.” Trump also retweeted a US Pacific Command post on B-1B Lancer bombers that stand ready on Guam.

By Yeo Jun-suk (jasonyeo@koreaherald.com)

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