North Korea crisis: South’s leader in plea to avoid war
Monday - 14/08/2017 10:31
SOUTH Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on his US allies to help prevent a war, amid worsening tension over the North’s nuclear threat.
Mr Moon told the visiting top US military official that there must be a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Gen Joseph Dunford said the US priority was diplomacy but added that military options were being prepared should sanctions against the North fail.
The North on Monday said any war could “only be turned into a nuclear war”.
Also on Monday, China’s commerce ministry issued an order banning a slew of imports from North Korea, in line with additional UN sanctions that were announced earlier this month.
Mr Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting South Korea, Japan and China after a week in which Donald Trump declared the US military “locked and loaded” and said he was ready to unleash “fire and fury” if North Korea continued to threaten the US.
North Korea, meanwhile, has threatened to lob four intermediate-range missiles into the waters near Guam, a tiny US territory about 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.
This would be a deeply provocative act from the US perspective, and there has been widespread debate about whether Washington would try to shoot the missiles down if they’re fired.
The US-North Korea impasse, which has simmered since the end of the Korean War in 1953, has grown more tense in recent months over worries that the North’s nuclear weapons program is nearing the ability to target the US mainland.