BEIJING -- The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday in Beijing that he is expecting more provocations from North Korea in the coming years and a heightened risk of confrontation.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, who was speaking to reporters at the U.S. Embassy at the end of his visit here, said North Korea had become progressively more provocative with the rise of Kim Jong Un, who took over after the death of his father in December 2011.
"We are no longer in a period of cyclical provocations -- where a provocation occurs and then there is a period of time when concessions are made.... I think we are in a period of prolonged provocations," Dempsey said. “I think the risk of miscalculation is higher, and the risk of an escalation is higher."
Dempsey spent three days in Beijing as part of a series of high-level contacts that touched on issues as diverse as cyber-security, the South and East China seas, and North Korea. He spoke with China’s new president, Xi Jinping, among others.