US, China agree to improve military communication

North Korea rhetoric remains sharp but shows signs of cooling

North Korea rhetoric remains sharp but shows signs of cooling

"It is very worrisome for the president of the United States to fuel the crisis".

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Seoul, a vibrant metropolitan area of some 25 million people, lies within range of North Korea's conventional artillery stationed just 30 miles to the North. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including more than 28,000 US troops, also live in South Korea. North Korea subsequently threatened to fire missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island of Guam.

If the Pentagon determines the missile would fall into the sea short of Guam, he said "it becomes an issue we take up however the president chooses".

But Moon in the Tuesday speech said pressure on Pyongyang is meant to bring the nation to the table for discussions.

Trump also said the USA was considering tighter sanctions against North Korea.

Kim's comments, however, with their conditional tone, seemed to hold out the possibility that friction could ease if the United States made some sort of gesture that Pyongyang considered a move to back away from previous "extremely risky reckless actions".

Benjamin Habib, a Korea expert at Australia's La Trobe University, said opinions about military drills fall into two broad camps.

But Gen. Joseph Dunford also said that military options were there in case diplomacy and sanctions failed, according to the South Korean account of the meetings.

Gen Joseph Dunford said the U.S. priority was diplomacy but he added that it was committed to defending the South against a possible military attack.

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"The United States military's priority is to support our government's efforts to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through diplomatic and economic pressure", General Dunford was quoted as saying in a Korean-language statement released by Mr. Moon's office after the meeting on Monday. He also will discuss military options in the event the "diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign" fails.

The president said the security situation on the peninsula got significantly grave, stressing that any more war should not break out on the peninsula.

"There should never be war again".

"Our government will put everything on the line to prevent another war on the Korean Peninsula", Moon said. The 1950-53 conflict cost more than a million lives, left cities in ruins and perpetuated the division of the peninsula.

The latest tension between the U.S. and North Korea has grown has been sparked by worries that the North's nuclear weapons programme is nearing the ability to target the USA mainland.

Dunford agreed that the recent series of missile provocation by North Korea led to grave security situations on the peninsula, saying no change was made in the United States commitment to the defence of South Korea.

The war of words has sparked global alarm, with world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping urging calm on both sides. This may collide with the current US approach of imposing sanctions against North Korea.

Moon said the North could create conditions for talks by stopping nuclear and missile tests. "We do not expect that the president of the United States would make that kind of statement", the South Korean ambassador-at-large for worldwide security told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz.

"We should also try to see areas to cooperate", Dunford said.

"Dialogue is urgently needed to stop the North from developing its weapons programs further", said Moon Chung-in, a special adviser to the president on foreign affairs and national security.