General Joseph Dunford is expected to arrive in South Korea today for talks with President Moon Jae-in and top defence officials.
North Korea will undoubtedly dominate all discussion. Tensions are at a fever pitch with Pyongyang most recently threatening to attack the US territory of Guam. In light of the North’s latest threats and missile tests, Seoul wants to up its own arsenal and speed up the (previously postponed) deployment of America’s THAAD anti-missile system.
With military cooperation on the agenda, America’s commander-in-chief will likely come up. Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong-un that the US is “locked and loaded,” and ready to unleash “fire and fury”; Trump’s unprecedented rhetoric for an American leader has stoked fears he may tweet his way into a crisis.
Expect Dunford to try reassuring Seoul that Washington will act responsibly in dealing with Pyongyang. Yet, whatever image of stability the general projects will probably be shattered the next time the president takes to Twitter.
Nicholas is an Italian politics aficionado. Nick brings his knowledge of southern Europe to bear in The Daily Brief team, where he serves as a senior analyst and editor.