BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on the North Korea crisis (all times local):
A senior Chinese general has told the top U.S. military officer that military action should not be an option in addressing the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
China’s defense ministry said in a statement that Gen. Fan Changlong told U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford in a meeting Thursday that all sides should remain restrained and avoid words and actions that could escalate tensions.
Fan, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, told Dunford that Beijing insists that “negotiations are the only effective option” to solve the issue.
Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to rain down “fire and fury” if challenged by North Korea.
The top U.S. military officer says the U.S. will not negotiate away its joint exercises with South Korea as long as the threat of an attack by North Korea exists.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Thursday that he’s advised the U.S. leadership not to dial back on the exercises with South Korea.
Dunford says: “As long as the threat in North Korea exists we need to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to that threat.”
North Korea claims the annual drills, scheduled for later this month, are a prelude for an invasion.
Washington and Seoul say the exercises are defensive in nature and crucial to deterring North Korean aggression.
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