US joint chiefs chairman Dempsey adds S. Korea visit

WASHINGTON (AP) - The top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, is adding a South Korea stop to his previously announced trip to China to meet face to face with his South Korean counterpart on the North Korea situation.

Gen Dempsey and his counterpart, General Jung Seung Jo, held a video teleconference on Thursday and reaffirmed their nation's security alliance.

On his South Korea visit on Sunday, Gen Dempsey also will meet with the senior US commander there, General James Thurman.

Gen Thurman and the chief of the South Korean military both cancelled plans to come to Washington this week due to the heightened tensions with North Korea. Gen Thurman was supposed to testify before Congress.

A spokesman for Gen Dempsey, Col David Lapan, said Gen Dempsey added the South Korea stop in order to discuss North Korea and other topics.