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Moon Jae-in Declares South Korea Will Not Allow War: Kim Stalls North’s Guam Demonstration Missiles

Aug. 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—Moon Jae-in, speaking on Korean Liberation Day (liberation from Japanese rule in 1945, celebrated in both North and South), said that there would be no war without Seoul’s approval, and that "all means" would be used by South Korea to prevent a war. "Military action on the Korean Peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea," Moon said. "The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means."

This follows meetings with Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, who was in Seoul yesterday; he was in Beijing today, and will then visit Japan.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un was shown on TV across North Korea (and around the world) being briefed on the plan to demonstrate North Korea’s ability to hit Guam by sending four missiles to hit about 20 miles from the U.S. territory. Kim announced that he was not activating the planned demonstration at this point.

Together with the fact that back-channel contacts between the U.S. and North Korea under the Trump Administration were made public over the past days, and following high-level meetings between the Foreign Ministers of North Korea, Russia, China and Japan at the ASEAN Regional Forum a week earlier, these developments indicate a move toward sanity and the possibility of more formal talks beginning in the near future. On the other hand, both General Dunford and the head of the U.S. forces in Korea Gen. Vincent Brooks, said that the U.S. is planning to proceed with the scheduled military exercises with South Korea from Aug. 21-31, which may be met by another North Korean test of some sort.

China’s Global Times editorialized today on the exercises, saying that they

"will definitely provoke Pyongyang more, and Pyongyang is expected to make a more radical response.... If South Korea really wants no war on the Korean Peninsula, it should try to stop this military exercise."