US Military Chief in Rare Visit to China-N.Korea Border

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The top USA military officer said a military solution to the North Korean missile threat would be "horrific" but allowing Pyongyang to develop the capability to launch a nuclear attack on the United States is "unimaginable".

General Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's Joint Staff Department, holds a welcoming ceremony for his US counterpart, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Beijing on Tuesday.

A day earlier, Dunford visited China's Northern Theatre Command headquartered in Shenyang near North Korea, observing combined arms manoeuvres by a Chinese infantry unit at the command's Haicheng Camp, according to the US Department of Defence.

"But wrong actions on the Taiwan issue, the United States deploying the THAAD system around China, U.S. ships and aircraft's activities in the South China Sea, the United States close-in surveillance in the sea and air near China have had a large, negative influence on bilateral military ties and mutual trust", Fan added.

The chairman said much of the discussions with Chinese officials have concerned North Korea.

"In the interest of regional stability, he said the U.S. views with growing urgency the need for China to increase pressure on the North Korean regime". But from the meeting, we had in Washington, D.C., and the meeting we just had, I know we share one thing: we share a commitment to work through these difficulties.

Bannon's comments in his interview with The American Prospect appeared to call bluff on Trump's tough talk to North Korea last week.

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Dunford said the US military will continue to develop Sino-US military relations and added both sides should take every opportunity to deepen communication and tackle current issues in a constructive way.

The two militaries already have dialogue mechanisms across many military ranks and services, including the Defense Policy Coordination Talks for senior military officials, and dialogue and cooperation mechanism for the armies and navies, said Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science. He visited the Republic of Korea on Sunday and travels to Japan later this week.

Dunford also told reporters in Beijing that "there's no question" any potential military action in the Korean Peninsula would be taken only in consultation with South Korea.

North Korea tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile in late July.

Earlier in the week, Dunford and his Chinese counterparts signed an agreement created to "improve communication between their militaries and reduce the chances of miscalculations".

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised North Korea's leader for backing off on plans to fire missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam. The opposition Liberty Korea Party on Wednesday adopted the demand as its official party line, saying that the presence of such weapons would strengthen deterrence against the North.

Last week, a U.S. destroyer sailed near a man-made island constructed by China as part of a "freedom of navigation" operation the United States conducted in a challenge to Beijing's territorial claims.