Top US military official Admiral Mike Mullen says that the danger from North Korea is rising and must be stopped, but that any reaction to North Korea must be proportional and not escalate conflict.
Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told reporters in Tokyo that the United States wants sustainable military ties with China, instead of on-and-off contact.
“I actually believe that because these provocations continue, and seemingly at a more frequent interval, that the danger is going up and that steps must be taken to ensure that they stop,” Mullen told a news conference after meeting Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa in Tokyo, reports Reuters.
“Any actions that are taken — actions, reactions — have to be done very carefully to make sure that we don’t escalate, that they are proportional, and at the same time send a very strong signal that the provocations must cease.”
Mullen also said the Yellow Sea is free waters where the US military has operated and will continue to do so.
North Korea released a report on Thursday defending last month’s deadly attack on a South Korean island, accusing Seoul and Washington of “persistently escalating tension” in disputed seas off its west coast.