Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Dunford: US 'Prepared To Respond' To North Korea If Deterrence Fails
SEOUL, South Korea – The United States is prepared to defend South Koreans and Americans against “a limited attack” by North Korea, the Pentagon’s top military official said Monday.
But Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed hope that diplomatic and economic pressure would force the communist state to curb its nuclear weapons program.
“The military dimension today is directly in support of that diplomatic and economic effort,” Dunford told reporters after meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul. “We are seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis right now and that’s an important message.”
His comments came as tensions have skyrocketed amid heated rhetoric from the North Koreans and President Donald Trump.
Trump has warned he’s ready to unleash “fire and fury” against the North if it continues to threaten the U.S. North Korea, for its part, has said it will finalize a plan to fire four missiles into waters off Guam and convey the blueprint to leader Kim Jong Un for a decision.
Dunford said it’s important “that the Korean people and the American people know that we are capable of protecting them right now against a limited attack and certainly prepared to respond in the event that deterrence fails.”
But his remarks echoed the cautious language of an op-ed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the Wall Street Journal as senior U.S. officials try to tamp down fears of military conflict.
South Korea’s president, meanwhile, urged North Korea to quickly return to dialogue, breaking his silence after a week of threats from both Trump and the North.
"President Moon denounced North Korea, saying the country was disturbing peace on the Korean peninsula and in the region, as well as the global order, by moving ahead with its test launches of missiles with an intercontinental range," presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said of the meeting with Dunford, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
Over the weekend, a South Korean presidential adviser expressed concern about Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, saying it was worrisome and fueling the crisis.
“This is very unusual. We do not expect that the president of the United States would make that kind of statement,” Moon Chung-in told the network. “It is a chicken game, but I think what is needed right now is mutual restraint.”
He also criticized the Trump administration for a lack of clarity about its North Korea policy.
“I really don’t see a unified message,” Moon Chung-in said. “We are very much confused. We think the American government has moved from ‘strategic patience’ of the Obama administration into strategic confusion.”
Strategic patience is the term used for ex-President Barack Obama’s policy toward the North, which relied on punishing economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure. Trump has declared that policy dead, but many of his administration’s moves have been similar, including drafting a recent U.N. resolution that imposed tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.
Moon Chung-in said his boss had asked Trump to tone down his rhetoric when they spoke on the phone last week, according to ABC. But that was followed by more fiery statements.
Most recently, Trump tweeted Friday that “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Dunford, who arrived in Seoul on Sunday, also met with Defense Minister Song Young-moo and other senior officials before leaving for China.
© 2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
New London — Retired four-star general John Kelly said that as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, he pushed back against the proposal to deploy U.S. troops to the southern border, arguing at the time that active-duty U.S. military personnel typically don't deploy or operate domestically.
"We don't like it," Kelly said in remarks at the Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night. "We see that as someone else's job meaning law enforcement."
These 'kamikaze' drones are believed to be the culprits of the attacks on 2 Saudi oil fields. Here's what we know about them
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Yemen's Houthi rebel group, part of a regional network of militants backed by Iran, claims to be behind the drone strikes on two Saudi oil facilities that have the potential to disrupt global oil supplies.
A report from the United Nations Security Council published in January suggests that Houthi forces have obtained more powerful drone weaponry than what was previously available to them, and that the newer drones have the capability to travel greater distances and inflict more harm.
The U.S. Air Force has selected two companies to make an extreme cold-weather boot for pilots as part of a long-term effort to better protect aviators from frostbite in emergencies.
In August the service awarded a contract worth up to $4.75 million to be split between Propel LLC and the Belleville Boot Company for boots designed keep pilots' feet warm in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without the bulk of existing extreme cold weather boots, according to Debra McLean, acquisition program manager for Clothing & Textiles Domain at Air Force Life Cycle Management Command's Agile Combat Support/Human Systems Division.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting world energy supplies and warned on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.
Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.