North Korea rhetoric appears at “end point,” Pacific general says

The latest North Korean crisis may finally be over, according to the top U.S. Army officer in the Pacific. "It appears the rhetoric has died down in recent days," Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) said, while visiting the Pentagon on Monday. "We’re hoping that that cycle of provocation has come ...

KNS/AFP/Getty Images
KNS/AFP/Getty Images
KNS/AFP/Getty Images

The latest North Korean crisis may finally be over, according to the top U.S. Army officer in the Pacific.

"It appears the rhetoric has died down in recent days," Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) said, while visiting the Pentagon on Monday.

"We're hoping that that cycle of provocation has come to its end point."

The latest North Korean crisis may finally be over, according to the top U.S. Army officer in the Pacific.

"It appears the rhetoric has died down in recent days," Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) said, while visiting the Pentagon on Monday.

"We’re hoping that that cycle of provocation has come to its end point."

Wiercinski said the U.S. is not yet withdrawing the THAAD anti-ballistic missile battery deployed to Guam, but he indicated the region already may have returned to quiet.

"I’ve seen this for 34 years," he said. "Cyclical provocation from the grandfather to the father, now the son. It’s nothing that I wouldn’t have not expected."

This time, however, Wiercinski said he took it "very seriously" due to the nuclear threat that followed North Korea’s demonstrated space launch last year. The Pentagon worries the boost-phase technology required to put an object into space is really part of North Korea’s pursuit of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles.

 

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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