North Korea crisis: South’s leader in plea to avoid war


Gen Joseph Dunford (L) and President Moon Jae-in (R)Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gen Dunford (L) met President Moon (R) during his tour of the region

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.

The sanctions were introduced in response to a wave of missile tests and increased military rhetoric from North Korea.

The latest tests led US President Donald Trump to warn of “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

He said the US was “locked and loaded” after the North threatened to target the US territory of Guam with missile tests. The US has 28,500 troops in South Korea.

Mr Moon sought to ease the tension, telling advisers at a meeting: “Our top priority is the national interest of [South Korea] and our national interest lies in peace.

“I am confident that the US will respond to the current situation in a calm and responsible manner in line with our policy direction.”

He said the 1950-53 Korean war had “cost more than a million lives, left cities in ruins and perpetuated the division of the peninsula”.

Mr Moon also urged the North to “stop all provocations and hostile rhetoric immediately, instead of worsening the situation any further”.

Gen Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Mr Moon that the US priority was supporting diplomatic and economic sanctions against the North, South Korea’s presidential office said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPresident Trump says North Korea will be in “big, big trouble” if it acts against Guam

But military options are being prepared.

Gen Dunford said as he arrived in Seoul: “As a military leader, I have to make sure that the president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurisation campaign fails.”

He will later travel to China and Japan.

The North’s news agency, KCNA, warned on Monday that a conflict could be sparked with “a minor incident”.

It said: “The problem is that if the war occurs, it can only be turned into a nuclear war.”

It added: “We are watching every single thing in the United States.”

On Sunday, US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said he did not think the sides were closer to war than a week ago, while CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he saw no intelligence to suggest the sides were on the cusp of a nuclear war.

Meanwhile, China has signalled it will halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting on Tuesday, following the UN resolution on sanctions.

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40923284

The BBC’s John Sudworth in Beijing says China has in the past been accused by the international community of not working hard enough at sanctions enforcement, so these actions by North Korea’s biggest trading partner are significant.

What are the new sanctions?

Image copyright AFP
  • Importing coal, seafood, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore from North Korea is banned
  • Countries cannot receive new North Korean workers
  • No new joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals
  • No new investment in existing joint ventures
  • More individuals targeted with travel bans and assets freezes
  • Member states to report to the UN Security Council within 90 days on how they have implemented resolution

In the same category are

New portrait marks Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary Image copyright MATT HOLYOAK/CAMERA PRESS A new portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip has been released to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.The...
Budget 2017: Philip Hammond to announce boost for driverless cars Image copyright Getty Images Wednesday's Budget will include plans to make the UK the best place to manufacture and road-test driverless cars, the c...
Adams to stand down as Sinn Féin leader Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has revealed he plans to stand down as leader of the party next year.Mr Adams also said he will not stand for electi...
Body found in missing Gaia Pope search Image copyright PA Image caption Gaia Pope was last seen in Swanage on 7 November A body has been found on land near Swanage in the hunt for missi...
Dyfed-Powys Police confirm Caldey Island sex abuse reports Dyfed-Powys Police has told BBC Wales it received reports of historical sexual abuse perpetrated by a monk on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s.T...
Zimbabwe rejoices as Mugabe’s long leadership nears its end Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAnne Soy with jubilant protesters in HarareA carnival mood has engulfed Zimbabwe's capital...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook


Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….

 

If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles

 

Comment on this story