No more war, urges South Korea president

18 Août, 2017, 04:46 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Only then could Seoul consider sending an envoy to the North, he added.

He said the 1950-53 Korean War had "cost more than a million lives, left cities in ruins and perpetuated the division of the peninsula". The Washington Post was not permitted to attend the "invited press event" that Dunford held after the meeting and no transcript was provided. "Our job - General Brooks and I - is to make sure our leadership has options available to them to properly respond". Dunford will later travel to Tokyo. China announced today that it would implement an import ban tomorrow on North Korean iron ore, lead and coal as part of the sanctions.

Moon said Trump's comments do not appear to have been made with the intention to take military action.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Tuesday expressed "grave concerns" about a memorandum signed by U.S. President Donald Trump to direct U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer to examine China's intellectual property practices.

His comments followed Mattis' threat that it would be "game on" if North Korea carried out with its threat to fire missiles towards the U.S. island territory of Guam.

Moon said the North could create conditions for talks by stopping nuclear and missile tests.

While backing Mr Trump's tough talk, United States officials including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster played down the risk of the rhetoric escalating into conflict.

"If North Korea makes the right decision, we will work together (with North Korea) to ensure the bright future of our nation by greatly expanding and improving inter-Korean exchanges", he said. Tensions had escalated rapidly after land mines maimed two South Korean soldiers along the Demilitarized Zone.

In an editorial Tuesday, nationalistic state-run tabloid Global Times said South Korea should "act as a buffer" between the USA and North Korea and urged Seoul to halt the upcoming joint military exercise.

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Moon's commitment to a peaceful solution is even more credible since it comes right when North Korea and the USA appear to be each taking a step back.


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Mr. Kim received the plan on Monday, when he visited the command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, the state news media reported on Tuesday.

It's unclear, however, how well that will be received in the United States, as the Trump Administration was already believed not to be thrilled with Moon's pro-diplomacy bias, and in the past couple of months has re-branded North Korea as a threat to the USA mainland, as opposed to a threat to South Korea and Japan. He even suggested that the gap between the allies was not large as both were focused on peace.

Seoul, a vibrant metropolitan area of 25 million people, lies within range of North Korea's conventional artillery, stationed just across the border 30 miles to the north. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including more than 28,000 USA troops, also live in South Korea.

The U.S. Department of Defense is now reviewing a request by the Republic of South Korea to allow it to develop more powerful ballistic missiles amidst rising tensions over North Korea's growing military capabilities.

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 Journal reported that Dunford said the objective of his visit to Seoul was to reassure a critical ally of USA support and, as noted above, he said it's important "that the Korean people and the American people know that we are capable of protecting them right now against a limited attack and certainly prepared to respond in the event that deterrence fails". The regime in Pyongyang always strongly objects to the drills, viewing them as a pretext for war.

But the US and South Korea are set to begin their annual 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint exercises on Monday, involving tens of thousands of troops, which the North has long slammed as a rehearsal for invasion.

"That becomes an issue that we take up, and it's however the president chooses", Mattis said.

Under the orders of leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been testing missiles at an unprecedented pace since previous year and last week said it was developing a plan to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

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