November 13, 2019 / 7:24 PM / a month ago

Pentagon chief open to military adjustments to support N.Korea diplomacy

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington, Nov 13 (Reuters) - U .S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday he was open to new alterations in U.S. military activity on the Korean peninsula if it helped enable diplomats, who are trying to jump-start stalled peace efforts with North Korea.

“I think we have to be open to all those things that empower and enable our diplomats to sit down with the North Koreans, alongside with our South Korean partners, and move the ball forward to a negotiated settlement of the issues that we put on the table,” Esper told a small group of reporters as he traveled to South Korea.

Esper spoke after North Korea threatened to retaliate if the United States goes ahead with scheduled military drills with South Korea. (Reporting by Phil Stewart Editing by Mary Milliken and Chizu Nomiyama)

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