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South Korean President Moon Jae-in rules out war with North Korea

20 August 2017

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".

North Korea would be "crossing a red line" if it put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korea's president says, but the United States has promised to seek Seoul's approval before taking any military action.

This has been different from the USA president's efforts to put "maximum pressure" on North Korea for its missile tests and nuclear program.

The South Korean leader did make clear, however, that North Korea's nuclear weapons development is nearing a red line.

A propaganda poster blaming US and hostile countries' sanction is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 17, 2017.

President Barack Obama's policy of being "passive" concerning North Korea's nuclear missile program has resulted in a rogue state that now possesses offensive nuclear weapons capable of striking many of our cities in the United States.

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The "Ulchi-Freedom Guardian" drills are created to "enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula", the US State Department said on Friday.

In July, North Korea conducted several tests of ballistic missiles "And 14". "So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war".

General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held talks with his Japanese counterpart at the defence ministry in Tokyo, wrapping up a regional tour during heightened tensions with North Korea.

Moon has repeatedly said he wants to engage with the North, but his efforts have so far been met with a string of threats and missile tests as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un works to build nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the United States mainland. He may also have nudged the United States toward a more diplomacy-focused approach and reduced the risk of war.

Trump last week pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury".

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Kim warned, however, that if the us acts proactively, he may reconsider the decision.

Trump responded with a tweet, saying Kim had "made a very wise and well-reasoned decision". However, the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

Perhaps because of this increased concern, Americans do not approve of the way the President is handling North Korea. If, somehow, we manage to catch them off-guard and find out that they are more rational than they would like to be perceived, it may guide both the USA and South Korean governments to make better choices.

China's Global Times newspaper, a state-run tabloid, was scathing of South Korea's decision to proceed with the drills.

Refusing to bend to North Korea's coercive threat is a relatively low-risk option, so long as North Korea will not follow through on its threat to bracket Guam.

Dunford said the U.S. military and its allies needed to stay ready. Given the magnitude of the threat posed by the North's weapons development, he said any diplomatic effort "has to be backed by a strong military outcome if North Korea chooses wrongly".

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in rules out war with North Korea