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America refuses to pause military drills in South Korea

The longer America ignores China and Russia’s joint request for direct talks with Pyongyang, the longer a potential for catastrophic war looms.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Navy budget request for FY2016 in Washington, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

A day after Donald Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for his “wise and well-reasoned” response to the current crisis, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staf Joseph Dunford, has said something that is both unwise and unreasonable.

While in Beijing working on establishing a communications hotline with China in order to avoid future conflicts, Dunford said something which demonstrates that the United States is continuing to ignore China and Russia’s joint request to cease all military drills and missile tests in and around South Korea.

When asked if the US still intends to go through with its scheduled drill in South Korea, Dunford stated,

“My advice to our leadership is that we not dial back our exercises. The exercises are very important to maintaining the ability of the alliance to defend itself.

As long as the threat in North Korea exists, we need to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to that threat”.

This patently uncooperative statement came hours after the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued the following statement,

“China believes that dialogue and consultations are the only effective avenue to resolve the peninsula issue, and that military means cannot become an option”.

The US will doubtlessly always be on alert in the region and so too will North Korea always be prepared to defend itself against the kind of US aggression that destroyed the country during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.

However, Dunford’s remarks demonstrate that the US still has both of its proverbial feet firmly on a military footing, althoguh for the sake of cooperation, even one ought to be walking towards diplomatic engagement. Until Washington and Pyongyang speak directly as China and Russia have been imploring them both to do, the conflict will remain in a tense, however frozen state.

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