The Latest: US Navy admiral pledges to defend Japan, S.Korea | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: US Navy admiral pledges to defend Japan, S.Korea

U.S. Navy servicemen stand in front of an American national flag at the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. A senior U.S. Navy commander of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier reportedly participating in joint drills with South Korea later this month told reporters during a stop in Hong Kong on Monday that his strike group is committed to defending U.S. allies in the region. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
October 02, 2017 - 2:42 AM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - The Latest on the situation on the Korean Peninsula (all times local):

6 p.m.

The commander of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group has told reporters in Hong Kong that his ships have an ironclad commitment to defending U.S. allies, including Japan and South Korea.

Rear Admiral Marc Dalton reiterated President Donald Trump's "resolve to use every lever available to us to convince North Korea to alter its dangerous and aggressive behaviour."

He was responding to a question about Trump's combative rhetoric. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that his secretary of state was wasting time trying to start a dialogue with North Korea.

Dalton would not confirm South Korean media reports that the Reagan would head to Korean Peninsula waters. Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed South Korean defence official as saying the U.S. carrier plans to conduct exercises with South Korea's navy.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Saturday that the Trump administration is probing North Korea's willingness to talk, but Trump tweeted on Sunday that he had told Tillerson that he was wasting his time trying to negotiate.

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4 p.m.

President Donald Trump's latest tweets on North Korea have received a muted response in South Korea, where media focused more on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's acknowledgement that the U.S. is keeping open direct communication channels with the North.

South Korea's largest daily newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, warned Monday that any U.S.-North Korea talks should not recognize the North as a nuclear state, or the South would be forced to seek nuclear arms too.

Tillerson made headlines on Saturday when he said in Beijing that the Trump administration is probing North Korea's willingness to talk.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he told Tillerson "he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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