S Korean Leader Prohibits US From Attacking N Korea Without Seoul's Content

Pauline Gross
August 19, 2017

North Korea and the United States should make more of an effort to settle the perilous situation over Pyongyang's nuclear program now transpiring on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday.

Dunford visited South Korea earlier in the week and flies to Japan Thursday night.

The official daily Rodong Sinmun criticised the South Korean leader, who in a Tuesday speech asserted that Seoul's "big challenge at present" was the "issue of North's nukes and missile".

North Korea's rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the US mainland has fueled a surge in tensions in recent days.

It is the first time for DPRK to make Moon personally responsible for his handling of the north-south relations since he came to power about 100 days ago.

"I am saying any military action to be taken on the Korean Peninsula requires South Korea's consent unless it is taken outside the peninsula".

Dunford was responding to questions about Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon saying in a new interview that the threat posed by North Korea can not handled by force.

The Chinese spokeswoman added although "the recent situation on the Korean peninsula is showing signs of easing tensions, it is still highly complex and fragile".

S Korean Leader Prohibits US From Attacking N Korea Without Seoul's Content

"The people worked together to rebuild the country from the Korean War, and we can not lose everything again because of a war", Mr Moon said in a nationally televised news conference.

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision", Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

North Korea's ICBM tests sparked weeks of sabre-rattling with Washington, with Pyongyang threatening to fire a salvo of rockets towards the USA territory of Guam. "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

There's media speculation that the allies might try to keep this year's drills low-key by not dispatching long-range bombers and other US strategic assets to the region. "It should refrain from irritating North Korea, pursuant to the USA foolhardy military manoeuvres", said Rodong Sinmun.

Moon was elected in May after a near-decade of conservative rule that saw animosity deepen between the rival Koreas. A spokesman for the centrist People's Party criticized Moon's comments in Thursday's news conference, arguing that "Korea passing" - the feared sidelining of Seoul on the North Korea issue - is becoming a reality under his watch. President Moon's statement on North Korea can thus be interpreted as a cautionary response to the situation.

Moon has repeatedly stressed that he is open to dialogue with North Korea, if conditions are met and North Korea temporarily halts its nuclear program. "But we don't need to be impatient", Moon said.

"Also, even if the United States takes military action outside the peninsula, I am confident it will sufficiently consult with South Korea in advance if such action may increase tension between the South and the North", he said. "In that respect, North Korea is nearing the red line".

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