Published: Mon, August 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Mattis: US will stop North's missile attacks

The president went on to say "If the conditions become appropriate, and it was decided that dialogue under those conditions would help to improve inter-Korean relations or resolve the nuclear issue, I would be willing to consider sending a special envoy to the North".

"We can't afford to lose all that we've built from the ashes of the Korean War".

The South Korean commander-in-chief's comments follow U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis' threat that it would be "game on" if North Korea carried out its threat to fire missiles toward the U.S. island territory of Guam. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been in a war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump, and both sides have threatened military action.

Pyongyang then threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the USA territory of Guam - a plan that leader Kim Jong-Un last week delayed, but warned could go ahead depending on Washington's next move. "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

Last year, U.S. Forces Korea announced the start of the exercise and said 25,000 total servicemembers would participate, with about 2,500 coming from off the peninsula.

This could make attempts at diplomacy between the two nations even more hard.

But his efforts have so far been met with a string of threats and missile tests as the North works to build nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the USA mainland.

That's a sharp decrease from the 25,000 USA servicemembers the US military said joined the drills a year ago.

Steve Bannon told progressive website American Prospect earlier this week that until someone solves how ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, ... there is no military solution to North Korea's nuclear threats. Although it is hard to assume the Moon administration would disavow the 1965 Japan-South Korea agreement on property and claims, there are concerns about how it would respond should the court order a compensation payment, and should the assets of Japanese companies be seized, amid other steps, to realize this payment.

According to a report out of the Rodong Sinmun a North Korean state run newspaper "The DPRK is the strongest possessor of ICBM capable of striking the USA mainland from anywhere and anytime as it pleases".

Dunford's visit to Japan came after his visits to South Korea and China, on a tour of Asia in which he seeks to reduce bilateral and regional tensions, following escalated rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang last week.

"As tensions run high between the USA and North Korea, Moon has a good reason to tone them down amid fear of a war", Kim said.

Elected in May, Moon broke with nearly 10 years of conservative rule in South Korea that saw governments deepen the animosity toward the North. "North Korea is nearing the red line", he said without expanding on what crossing the line would mean. "The South Korean government will approach history issues from this stance", Moon said.

A Friday statement from the White House seemed to indicate that deliberation process was still underway.

Pyongyang's plans to fire missiles near Guam prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with Mr Trump saying the United States military was "locked and loaded" if North Korea acted unwisely. We will continue communication with our federal and military partners. "Therefore, should North Korea continue to take provocative actions, or even take an aggressive action against the United States, the USA may take appropriate steps".

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