Both Korean leaders, United States signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis

Both Korean leaders, United States signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis

Dunford "stressed that North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs threaten the entire global community", according to U.S. military spokesman Capt. Darryn James.

Moon said Washington and Seoul are closely communicating over the North Korean nuclear problem and share the view that strong sanctions and pressure are needed against Pyongyang to stop its provocations and force it into negotiations. In recent months, China has joined with Russian Federation in calling for the U.S.to suspend annual military drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests as a first step toward direct talks.

Trump said last week the United States would rain "fire and fury" on North Korea, which some interpreted as threatening the country with a preemptive nuclear attack. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan - apparently showing the missiles' flight route. His visit to Asia, which also will include a stop in Japan, comes after Trump last week declared the USA military "locked and loaded" and said he was ready to unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States.

Song and Mattis positively evaluated their joint ballistic missile drill and the swift deployment of US strategic assets to Korea in response to the North's intercontinental ballistic missile launch on July 28th.

The annual drills antagonize Pyongyang which see the exercises as practice for an invasion, however the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

"Dialogue between South and North Korea should be resumed, but we don't need to hurry up on that", he said.

Emphasizing Seoul is the one that is most directly affected by North Korea's nuclear and missile issues, President Moon sternly said any sort of military action requires South Korea's consent, and underscored that another war on the peninsula is absolutely out of the question.

"I would consider that North Korea is crossing a red line if it launches an intercontinental ballistic missile again and weaponizes it by putting a nuclear warhead on top of the missile", Moon said.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned Wednesday "we can't support ideas by some of our partners to suffocate North Korea economically with all the negative and tragic humanitarian consequences for its citizens".

His comments Thursday at a nationally televised news conference appeared to be another effort to jumpstart a diplomatic solution to a confrontation sparked North Korea's warning that it might send missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam, and President Donald Trump's belligerent Twitter threats to unleash "fire and fury" on the North.

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

Kim's comments, however, with their conditional tone, seemed to hold out the possibility that friction could ease if the United States made some sort of gesture that Pyongyang considered a move to back away from previous "extremely unsafe reckless actions".

The South Korean leader has also called for efforts to normalize ties with Japan, urging the renegotiation of a controversial deal signed in late 2015 under which Seoul's former conservative government agreed to exempt Tokyo from any future responsibilities for its World War II atrocities that include the enslavement of thousands of Korean women for sexual servitude to its military in exchange for 10 billion yen ($9.1 million).

North Korea is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile program and the upcoming military drills between Washington and Seoul.

"What matters is that if a second conflict (on the peninsula) erupts, that can not help but lead to a nuclear war", the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision".

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