South Korea Move Ahead With Missile Shield, China Seethes

19 August, 2017, 18:23 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • The intense rhetoric on both sides has raised fears of a miscalculation leading to catastrophic consequences- Pyongyang has vast artillery forces deployed within range of Seoul where millions of people live

Mattis stressed that the US will first take steps to put diplomatic and economic pressure on the North to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and reaffirmed that Washington will closely consult Seoul on all the steps.

Gen. Joseph Dunford said Thursday that he has advised US leadership not to "dial back" joint war games with South Korea that are due to begin next week despite threats from North Korea.

Nevertheless, many ordinary citizens in the Asia-Pacific region remained wary of the situation.

"A resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue by military force is completely unacceptable and the peninsula's nuclear issue must be peacefully resolved by political and diplomatic methods", Lavrov was quoted as saying.

"The south authorities' utterances about improving intra-Korean ties turned out to be nothing but hypocrisy", it said.

"Most Japanese, including myself, hate war", Chiba, 50, said.

Washington and Trump had agreed that "no matter what option they take about North Korea, all decisions will be made after consulting with and getting agreement with the Republic of Korea".

"If North Korea hadn't developed its nuclear program, we would not be in this current situation", he said.

"There is now a limit on the warhead size and missiles that South Korea can have and yes, it is a topic under active consideration here", Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters on August 7, Reuters reports.

Key developments in North Korea's missile programme since the 1970s
With Friends Like These, Does South Korea Need Enemies?

Dunford said it was important that Chinese and US defense officials had a conversation about what might happen in the event of military action.

Those who fear canceling drills could "invite further escalations" from Kim Jong Un's regime, and those who think "drills are an unnecessary provocation" and suspending them or calling them off would significantly lower tensions.

The Chinese regime is angry about the installation of defensive missiles, but not for any immediate threat they pose, Sun Zhe, co-director of the China Initiative of Columbia University's School of worldwide and Public Affairs told Reuters.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favors diplomacy, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program.

On the other hand, President Moon Jae-in said that South Korea's highest priority is its national interest which is founded in peace. Given the grave reality that the entire nation is in the range of North Korea's nukes and missiles, Moon should have shown his will to make the North pay the price for its provocations at any cost. Now, the highlight of the afternoon was when the President mentioned that North Korea is nearing the so-called "red line" which will lead him to shift away from his policy of engagement with Pyongyang.

Pyonyang this week detailed a plan to test-launch ballistic missiles into waters near Guam.

Joint US-South Korean war games have been held since the Korean War ended in an armistice and ceasefire in 1953.

Trump had promised to seek negotiations and approval from South Korea before taking any options regarding North Korea, Moon also said.

The U.N. chief told reporters that the world needed to heed the lessons of history and not repeat the Korean War, which killed more than 3 million people in the 1950s.

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