Xi stresses cooperation in talks with U.S. military chief

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Dunford said Thursday Feb. 23 2017 a Pentagon-led review of strategy for defeating the Islamic State group will present Pre

USA and Chinese defense officials are pulling no punches as they discuss issues of concern to both countries, including the problem posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

Dunford has exchanged views with his Chinese counterpart Fang Fenghui over issues including the Korean nuclear crisis and the South China Sea, and signed a framework agreement on a China-U.S. joint staff dialogue mechanism, seen as a highlight during his three-day stay.

Around 90 percent of North Korea's trade is with China, and Chinese officials appear serious about enforcing the United Nations action, US officials said.

Xi received General Dunford, the first senior military official to visit China since US President Donald Trump took office, at the presidential palace in Beijing, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the phone on Tuesday and discussed "ways to get out of the confrontational spiral on the Korean Peninsula".

The ministry quoted Lavrov as saying tensions could rise again with the US and South Korea set to launch large-scale military exercises on August 21.

During his visit, Dunford also met Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, who urged the United States to rule out military intervention in North Korea.

"In close collaboration with our allies, there are strong military consequences if DPRK initiates hostilities", Mattis said, referring to an abbreviation of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Now, experts are asking, why doesn't the United States try working with North Korea to isolate China?

"Should preferred diplomatic and economic peaceful options fail, Gen. Dunford reiterated America's resolve to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies in the Republic of (South) Korea and Japan, as well as the United States homeland", James said.

The U.S. wants North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to agree to denuclearize his country and stop his rocket testing. That could be a game changer not just for the North Korea crisis but for the entire region.

The United States, South Korea and Japan are approaching the issue as an alliance.

It was the first time in 10 years that a top USA military official has visited a command post of the Chinese armed forces along the border, which will be the first to be deployed in an emergency on the Korean Peninsula.

"The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

The latest South Korea-U.S. military drills come after tensions spiked from North Korea's threat to launch missiles into waters near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

North Korea claims it has successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon.

Army Lieutenant-General Richard Clarke, the Joint Staff's director for strategic plans and policy, will lead the effort for the American military.

"The red line would be that the North ends its ICBM and the team of a nuclear warhead", he however warned, in case of "new provocation", the north Korean regime "will face even tougher sanctions, and will not survive there".

Trump last week pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury".

Lobbing missiles toward Guam, a major USA military hub in the Pacific, would be deeply provocative from the US perspective.

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