Asia & Pacific

Crisis Management: Top US, Chinese Generals Talk North Korea After Missile Test

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Top generals from the US and Chinese armed forces met in Washington this week following North Korea’s latest missile provocation.

The meetings were held on Wednesday and Thursday, just hours after Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile test early Wednesday morning.

People's Liberation Army Maj. Gen. Shao Yuanming and the US Defense Department's Lt. Gen Richard Clarke discussed ways to improve communication channels regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the South China Morning Post reports.

A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman told SCMP Thursday that the discussion focused on crisis management but did not divulge further information. The talks were originally scheduled for August but only took place this week, according to the Hong-Kong based newspaper.

​North Korea's latest Hwasong-15 missile test "went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they've taken," Pentagon chief James Mattis said shortly after the launch. Estimates of exactly how high the missile travel vary, but the projectile seems to have reached at least some 3,000 miles, and was described as being capable of striking anywhere on the globe.

Moscow and Beijing condemned the missile test.

"We urge North Korea to stop the nuclear and missile tests, and the United States and the Republic of Korea to refrain from carrying out unplanned air forces drills, unprecedented in scale and scheduled for December this year, since it will only exacerbate the situation, which is already explosive," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, expressed "grave opposition and concern" about the most recent missile test.

France joined the international condemnation as well.

"I strongly condemn the missile launch which North Korea carried out today. France is expressing its solidarity with Japan and South Korea in the face of this threat… I reiterate my conviction that the time has come to increase pressure and sanctions [against Pyongyang]," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement Wednesday.