The Latest: US seeks 'effective' ties with China's military


The Latest on the North Korea crisis (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he's aiming to further develop a working relationship with his counterpart in China in order to lessen the risk of miscalculation on the Korean Peninsula as tensions rise between the U.S. and North Korea.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford is traveling in Asia and is expected to meet with leaders in China, South Korea and Japan.

Dunford says he wants to underscore the United States' "ironclad commitment" to its alliance with Seoul and Tokyo.

But he says "effective military-to-military" ties with China also are important. Beijing is North Korea's biggest economic partner and source of aid.

Dunford says he'll continue building the relationship he has with Gen. Fang Fenghui (FAHNG FENG-wuee), the head of the People's Liberation Army's joint staff department.

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12:00 p.m.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), is "rational" despite the behavior he's shown during escalating tensions with the United States.

Pompeo was asked on "Fox News Sunday" to provide a psychological profile of Kim, whose father and grandfather ruled North Korea before him.

Pompeo said Kim responds to "adverse circumstances," suggesting that the North Korean leader will realize he doesn't want a military confrontation with Washington.

President Donald Trump once called Kim a "pretty smart cookie."

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10:13 a.m.

Senior U.S. national security officials say a military confrontation with North Korea's isn't imminent. But they're also saying that the possibility of war with the reclusive Asian nation is greater than it was a decade ago.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says there's "nothing imminent today." But Pompeo says on "Fox News Sunday" that North Korea's push to develop a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States "is a very serious threat and the administration is going to treat it as such."

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, tells ABC's "This Week" that "we're not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago."


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