NKorea threats fit pattern that ends short of war: U.S. official

STUTTGART, Germany – The top U.S. military official says North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and threats to attack the U.S. follow a pattern of provocation, followed by nonviolent accommodation.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey says the situation is worrisome, given the stakes. But Dempsey suggested Friday that it does not appear to point toward war.

Dempsey says in an interview that what’s different is North Korea’s younger and relatively unknown leader. He says the U.S. lacks understanding of who influences Kim Jong Un, who came to power after his father’s death in December 2011.

Dempsey spoke to reporters after a ceremony installing Gen. David M. Rodriguez as commander of U.S. Africa Command.

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