President Moon open to sending Special Envoy to North Korea

Posted August 20, 2017

He expanded on similar remarks he made on Independence Day, Aug. 14, that, "Nobody can make a decision on military action on the peninsula without South Korea's consent".

Moon said Washington and Seoul are closely communicating over the North Korean nuclear problem and share the view that strong sanctions and pressure are needed against Pyongyang to stop its provocations and force it into negotiations.

"Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by the Republic of Korea", Moon told reporters in Seoul, referring to his country's formal name.

'By trying to incriminate Beijing as an accomplice in (North Korea's) nuclear adventure and blame it for a failure that is essentially a failure of all stakeholders, Trump risks making the serious mistake of splitting up the global coalition that is the means to resolve the issue peacefully, ' it said.

Key developments in North Korea's missile programme since the 1970s.

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But Mr. Moon's supporters say overreacting to the North will only serve its leader Kim Jong-un's strategy of appearing risky and reckless, as part of an effort to win concessions.

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

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday in Washington that it will be "game on" with North Korea if it hits the United States, including Guam, but he left it much more ambiguous what will happen if Pyongyang decides to shoot missiles near Guam, without trying to actually hit the US island territory.

Dunford was responding to questions about comments by Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was quoted in an interview with The American Prospect as saying "there's no military solution" to the North Korean problem. -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more hard.

"I would consider that North Korea is crossing a red line if it launches an intercontinental ballistic missile again and weaponizes it by putting a nuclear warhead on top of the missile", Moon said.

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"Under the right conditions, I will also go to Pyongyang".

US vows "immediate and specific action" to intercept missiles if North Korean fires at allies, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.

North Korea is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile program and the upcoming military drills between Washington and Seoul.

"If it is necessary, I will fly immediately to Washington and also visit Beijing and Tokyo", he said.

Trump has urged China, the North's main ally and trading partner, to do more to rein in its neighbour, often linking Beijing's efforts to comments around U.S. Later, he said his country's military options are now "locked and loaded", prompting concerns of war on the Korean Peninsula.

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Reuters reported that North Korea said on Thursday that plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near the US Pacific island of Guam, 3,500 km away.