Top US military official arrives in South Korea amid rising tensions with North Korea

Seoul: A top US military official landed in Seoul on Monday ahead of talks with the country's leader amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, the media reported.

People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's nuclear test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. North Korea said Friday it conducted a "higher level" nuclear warhead test explosion, which it trumpeted as finally allowing it to build "at will" an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons. It is Pyongyang's fifth atomic test and the second in eight months. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Representational image (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford arrived at the Osan Air Base, and is scheduled to meet with the leaders of US Forces Korea and South Korea President Moon Jae-in, reports CNN.


"Gen. Dunford just arrived in Osan Air Base to meet with US Forces Korea leadership and explore the Camp Humphreys area with his team on board 2 UH-60 Black Hawks," a statement on the Joint Staff Facebook page said.

The trip has been long scheduled and was not arranged in response to the North Korean nuclear threat.

"The trip highlights our ironclad commitment to the defence of the Republic of Korea in the face of North Korea's provocations and threats," the statement said.

Dunford prefaced his Asia trip with a trip to Hawaii to meet with US Pacific Command, and will visit also visit Japan, as well as China, CNN reported.

The three-country visit is in "support (of) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's diplomatic and economic campaign to deter North Korea" from seeking an effective nuclear deterrent, according to the US Department of Defence.

The North Korean military are putting the final touches on a plan to fire four missiles into the waters around the US territory of Guam, to be presented to leader Kim Jong-un within days.


In a statement last week, General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, said the plan to fire "four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets...to signal a crucial warning to the US" would be ready by "mid-August".

A notice put out by Guam's Joint Information Centre on Saturday warned residents how to prepare "for an imminent missile threat."

"Do not look at the flash or fireball it can blind you," the note said.

"Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit."


Published Date: Aug 14, 2017 11:18 am | Updated Date: Aug 14, 2017 11:19 am