South Korea's Moon issues plea for calm to avoid war

A view shows a Pyongyang city mass rally held at Kim Il Sung Square

Amid rising geopolitical tensions after North Korea's ICBM tests last month, South Korea's finance minister has warned that a surge of volatility in the financial market can not be ruled out.

"The most important task at hand is for the US and North Korea to "hit the brakes" on their mutual needling of each other with words and actions, to lower the temperature of the tense situation and prevent the emergence of an 'August crisis, '" Wang was quoted as saying in the Tuesday conversation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said US and South Korean policies are aligned on North Korea and promised there "will be no war on the Korean peninsula ever again".

Last week, President Trump warned North Korea would face "fire and fury" should the country continue to pursue a long-range missile system and other upgrades to its nuclear weapons arsenal.

"The joint declaration for..."

Analysts see this as reflective of growing frustration by President Moon, who campaigned on a return to diplomacy with North Korea, but has seen his brief time in office dominated by repeated United States threats to destroy North Korea. "What I would like to see is Kim Jong Un to commit to ceasing the development of nuclear weapons and ceasing the testing of ballistic missiles", Dunford said.

North Korea's military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and "wring the windpipes of the Yankees", even as both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.

China on Tuesday called on the U.S.to back up Monday's statement by senior US officials that the USA wished to resolve Korean Peninsula issue via diplomatic means.

Moon, who took office in May, held a news conference Thursday to mark the first 100 days of his presidency.

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Tensions have spiked on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea and the United States traded bellicose rhetoric after the U.N. further tightened sanctions on Pyongyang for its two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. Moon then said the crisis must "absolutely be solved peacefully". What doesn't: a fiery war of words between North Korea and the U.S. president just ahead of the drills.

"Nobody's looking for war", the Marine general said, according to the military newspaper.

"While putting emphasis on forward-looking Korea-Japan relations, however, we can not overlook historical issues", Moon said. There are 28,500 USA service members on the peninsula and that number fluctuates from time to time due to exercises and new capabilities. Two years later, North Korea invaded South Korea, leading to the Korean War (25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953) that led to the death of over 1.2 million people.

According to Mr Moon's spokesman, Gen Dunford said in the meeting that the U.S. would only consider military action against North Korea if all diplomatic and economic sanctions failed.

A top United States military official landed in Seoul on Monday ahead of talks with the country's leader amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, the media reported.

In South Korea, where both the military and civilians are used to facing threats from North Korea, Defense Minister Song Young-moo warned the country's armed forces "to maintain full readiness" to "immediately punish with powerful force" any action against the South.

Gen Dunford said as he arrived in Seoul: "As a military leader, I have to make sure that the president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign fails". "We can not lose everything through a war again", Moon said in a televised press conference marking his first 100 days in office.

Also on Monday, China's Commerce Ministry issued an order banning a slew of imports from North Korea, in line with additional United Nations sanctions that were announced earlier this month.

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