Friday, 22 September, 2017

South Korea's Moon: There will be no war on Korean peninsula

North Koreans protest the UN's sanctions against the country North Koreans protest the UN Security Council’s sanctions against the country on Aug. 11 2017
Saul Franklin | 17 August, 2017, 13:54

Moon Jae-in, a liberal who favors engagement with the North, delivered a nationally televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of the end of World War II and the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

North Korea, in turn, has said it planned to finalize a plan to fire four missiles into the waters near the USA territory of Guam, home to two major US military bases, sometime this week and hand it over to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a decision.

And even though National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo appeared to support Trump's threatening language, they both tried to minimize concern that war with North Korea was imminent. 'So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war'.

Also attending the meeting were South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Army Chief Gen.

"We do not expect that the president of the United States would make that kind of statement", he said.

China's Commerce Ministry issued a ban effective from Tuesday on several imports from North Korea in line with the latest United Nations sanctions.

North Korea leader Kim Jung Un, centre, applauding after the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea's northwest.

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 U.S. threats to destroy North Korea. "It's a firm agreement between South Korea and the United States", Moon said.

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"The U.S. military has a primary goal in supporting the U.S. government's efforts to impose diplomatic and economic pressures for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Dunford reportedly said. USA officials say they've attempted to use it, but that the Chinese side has never answered their requests.

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

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has repeatedly urged Pyongyang to halt its weapons program and at the same time urged South Korea and the United States to stop military drills in order to lower tensions.

INSIDE STORY: US, North Korea war of words - Where is this heading?

OPINION: What are Trump's options on North Korea? . "I know we share one thing: We share a commitment to work through these hard issues", he added, saying that with the guidance of political leaders "we are going to make some progress over the next few days".

Dunford 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".

Pyongyang, however, apparently toned down its threats on Tuesday as Kim Jong-un reportedly made a decision to observe USA behaviour "a little more" before undertaking the attack, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

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