South Korea Says US in Close Communications Over North

Reuters

"In order to defuse tensions and prevent the unsafe military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, it is necessary for the United States to make a proper option first and show it through action", Kim was quoted as saying.

Moon, who took office in May, told a news conference to mark his 100th day in office that United States and South Korean policies are aligned on North Korea. Bannon was quoted as saying there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury".

"All South Koreans have worked so hard together to rebuild the country from the ruins of the Korean War [of the 1950s]".

A top United States military officer on Monday said the U.S. wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation. While North Korea is testing China's patience, such a scenario could lead to a unified Korea and push USA troops up to China's border.

The top US general on Thursday warned that allowing North Korea to launch a nuclear attack on the United States would be "unimaginable". "I think lots of effort and time could be necessary to overcome a decade of severed ties and to reopen a dialogue", said Moon.

A top U.S. general says contentious military exercises with South Korea, due to start on Monday off the Korean peninsula, are not up for negotiation.

Moon said, "The United States and President Trump have declared and promised that whatever military action they would like to take, they will fully discuss it with us and get our consent".

A North Korean man stands in Sinuiju North Korea which borders Dandong of China's Liaoning province.   
  Credit    Aly Song  Reuters
A North Korean man stands in Sinuiju North Korea which borders Dandong of China's Liaoning province. Credit Aly Song Reuters

"The goal of enhanced sanctions and pressure against the North is not to heighten military tensions but to bring it back to the negotiating table", Moon said.

North Korea on Friday warned that the controversial joint military exercises of South Korea and the USA, which are scheduled to start next week, could bring a catastrophe to the security in the region. He added that Seoul is even mulling sending a special envoy to Pyongyang in an attempt to restart diplomacy with the reclusive nation.

As Quartz has written, with tensions high on the Korean Peninsula, a small military incident could rapidly escalate into a full-blown war.

Moon's policy on Pyongyang came in for criticism from his rivals, particularly Hong of the Liberty Korea Party and Ahn of the People's Party, who both touted tougher lines on North Korea.

Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had "made a very wise and well reasoned decision", amid indications that he does not immediately plan to fire multiple missiles toward Guam.

On the issue of thousands of Koreans forced into labor during the period, Moon noted South Korea's Supreme Court ruling that former agreements between the two governments do not forfeit individual victim's rights to seek compensation from their former Japanese employers.

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