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President Moon: ‘There Will Be No War Here Again’

Aug. 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—In a free-wheeling, unscripted press conference today—unusual for South Korean presidents—President Moon Jae-in stated in the strogest terms that: "I can guarantee you there will be no war here again." It is the 100th day of his Presidency.

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." He was specific about the U.S.:

"President Trump also said whatever option he would use, he would fully discuss it with South Korea and seek its consent beforehand. It is a firm agreement between South Korea and the U.S."

Asked about Trump’s "fire and fury" comments, Moon said,

"Trump is showing his resolution to pressure Pyongyang. I don’t think his comments necessarily indicate his intention to carry out military action. I’m telling you that Seoul and Washington are fully communicating with each other."

Asked what would happen if North Korea succeeds in weaponizing an ICBM—the U.S. "red line"—Moon responded: "If the North undertakes further provocations, it will face even stronger sanctions which it will not be able to withstand." He added:

"And in the right circumstances, I may consider sending a special envoy to Pyongyang if it is helpful to improve the relationship and resolve the nuclear issue."

Kim Jong-un announced last week that he would not at this time proceed with the plan to demonstrate North Korea’s capacity to fire missiles near Guam, while multiple back-channel meetings are taking place between the so-called 6-party talks group (Russia, China, Japan, U.S., and the two Koreas). On the other hand, the Pentagon has repeated that the U.S. will proceed with the military exercises with South Korea on Aug. 21. Spokesperson Heather Hauert said, "there is no equivalency" between the North’s testing, which she said was illegal, and the exercises, which are part of the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty.

China Daily deputy editor Chen Weihua called this "regrettable"—that the United States calls for China’s help, but is "unwilling to accept Beijing’s ‘dual suspension’ proposal." Chen added: "Why not give it a try? The U.S. itself should be ready to make more compromises as a superpower."