|Gen. Vincent K. Brooks|
(Image: Wiki Commons)
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is attempting to deter unity between South Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan with a string of belligerent acts, the top American military commander here said Thursday.
Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who commands U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), pointed out that the communist regime's nearly weekly missile tests have become "the new normal."
The North test-fired 28 ballistic missiles in 2016 alone, followed by 10 others this year, including what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
It's also reportedly preparing for another missile launch in the coming days, although there was no report of a launch on Thursday, the 64th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement.
"His actions intend to sow friction and fissures among the five in order to prevent them from coming together as a cohesive block," Brooks said, addressing a forum under way in Nebraska, a U.S. state, according to the USFK's website.
The two-day symposium on deterrence is being hosted by the U.S. Strategic Command.
"He's trying to prevent the creation of a closed fist against him," the commander said, showing the five fingers of his hand to refer to the five countries involved in the now-suspended denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.
He described the North Korea issue as a "wicked problem" and called for a "creative" approach to resolve it by pooling the wisdom of various people.
He also stressed the importance of deterrence for the part of the U.S. and its allies.
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