Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

S. Korean president urges dialogue with DPRK amid de-escalating tensions

S. Korean president urges dialogue with DPRK amid de-escalating tensions

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that he is convinced that the United States would refrain from any military actions on the Korean Peninsula without South Korea's consent, and even if Washington makes a decision to take military actions outside the peninsula, it would still consult with Seoul.

"The US and President Trump also said, no matter what option they take about North Korea, all decisions will be made after consulting with and getting agreement with the Republic of Korea".

Pyongyang said Monday it had finalized a plan to fire four missiles less than 25 miles off Guam but state media said leader Kim Jong Un would wait to assess the US' next move before giving launch orders.

US President Donald Trump had warned the communist state would be met by "fire and fury" and that US military measures were "locked and loaded".

Moon's comments follow a spike in animosity generated by North Korea's warning that it might send missiles into waters near the USA territory of Guam, and by Trump's warlike language.

And U.S. Vice President Mike Pence again stated that "all options" toward North Korea remain for consideration during his visit to South America.

Following his remarks, newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Seoul "warned" the United States.

But the atmosphere is likely to worsen again next week when the United States and South Korea kick off their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military drills. Such a development, Moon said, would cross a "red line" and raise the risk of military conflict.

US, Japan issue stern warning to N. Korea
North Korea has fired 18 missiles during 12 tests since February, improving its technology with each launch. Mr Tillerson said the North Koreans should understand the consequences should they make a bad choice.

Moon's remarks followed a heated war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

"We will look for the U.S.to reaffirm it defence commitment, including the nuclear deterrent".

But as State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Tuesday, the USA has no plans of stepping them down. Pyongyang responded by saying it was considering a strike against the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Moon, a left-leaning former human rights lawyer, in the past has urged engagement with Pyongyang to bring it to the negotiating table, in addition to sanctions.

But the lack of concessions from the U.S. side indicates that it's up to North Korea to back down at some point and offer more favorable terms for a compromise.

"Dialogue between South and North Korea should be resumed, but we don't need to hurry up on that", he said.

North Korea strongly condemns the exercises calling them preparations for "invasion". It also conducted two underground nuclear tests in 2016. Kim said if the "planned fire of power demonstration" is carried out because of USA recklessness, it will be "the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks".

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