South Korea pledges 'no war on Korean peninsula'

Elias Hubbard
August 22, 2017

Moon, in a televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of World War II's end and the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, said Seoul and Washington agree that the nuclear standoff should "absolutely be solved peacefully".

The Red Cross bodies of the two Koreas had acted as a channel for dialogue on humanitarian issues, including the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

His comments Thursday at a nationally televised news conference appeared to be another effort to jumpstart a diplomatic solution to a confrontation sparked North Korea's warning that it might send missiles into waters near the USA territory of Guam, and President Donald Trump's belligerent Twitter threats to unleash "fire and fury" on the North.

Moon is working to alleviate South Korean's fears of military action.

"The U.S. -South Korean drills aren't a sacred realm", the newspaper said, referring to the time that Washington and Seoul agreed to cancel their large-scale Team Spirit drills in the early 1990s to induce the North to join denuclearization talks.

He called the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads a "red line" that the North is nearing, implying a threat of American military retribution.

He also commented that "the U.S. sought to put maximum pressure and sanctions through the latest UN Security Council resolution", while at the same time it is "seeking unilateral measures".

AFTER North Korea and the United States traded bellicose threats of nuclear conflagration, all eyes will be on an annual war game in the South next week that could send tensions spirallng back upwards, analysts say.

Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests have shaken the security order not just on the Korean Peninsula, but worldwide, the president said in a meeting here Monday with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford warned that military options are being prepared in case diplomatic efforts fail. "The U.S. and President Trump promised no matter what options they use, they will sufficiently consult with South Korea and get consent". But it is also an issue between the North and the United States.

"I think that the North has been reaching the threshold of this red line gradually". The US missile defense system is aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

In 2015, Ulchi-Freedom Guardian came shortly after an August 4 attack in which two South Korean soldiers stepped on landmines in the heavily militarized border region with North Korea. ironically known as the Demilitarized Zone.

North Korea's military said last week that it would finalize the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

North Korea strongly condemns the exercises calling them preparations for "invasion".

Add to that opposition from major trading partner China, which believes the radar could be used against its military and has been accused of waging a campaign of economic retaliation by curbing its vital tourism and other business interests in the South.

Moon marked his 100th day in office Thursday.

When asked how his government planned to realise his election pledge of making the nation free of nuclear energy, the president said the change will not be steep.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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