South Korean Premier Rejects Opposition's Call For Nuclear Armament

"I don't think that he is trying to show a certain willingness to launch military action", Moon said on President's Trump's moves in the Korean peninsula.

Another American, college student Otto Warmbier, was released in June in a coma and died shortly after his arrival in the United States. "And that is why we must prevent North Korea's additional provocations".

The Associated Press reported last week that a US envoy and his North Korean counterpart have discussed three other Americans being held in North Korea.

A potential U.S., North Korea conflict was averted this week when Kim Jong Un postponed a plan to target a ballistic missile near the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific ocean. His address was preceded by a heated war of words between the United States and North Korea with both sides constantly stepping up their threats.

Some of Moon's advisers, moreover, are showing a desire for still more independence from American constraints by suggesting South Korea begin developing its own nuclear warheads - a prospect that would surely lead to a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia.

This has cooled slightly in recent days, with suggestions from North Korea that dictator Kim Jong Un would monitor the actions of the USA before launching toward Guam. But the North seemingly paid no attention to the UN's repeated warnings.

Mixed signals from the USA on the crisis may be down to a lack of cooperation inside the government, Lawrence Davidson, a foreign policy analyst, told RT.

The risk to South Korea has restrained successive American administrations striking North Korea to take out its nuclear and missile facilities, even as its capability has improved to the point where it now poses a threat to the U.S. mainland.

There are two things North Korea doesn't like.

Moon strongly warned Thursday that if the North makes further provocations, it will face tougher sanctions and it eventually will not be able to endure them.

"My advice to our leadership is that we not dial back our exercises", he said.

The conversation on "red lines" for North Korea continues. "In that sense, North Korea is nearing the red line". The Koreas are still technically at war, with no peace treaty signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Moon added: "However, I am saying any military action to be taken on the Korean Peninsula requires South Korea's consent unless it is taken outside the peninsula".

Tensions in the region surged last week when Pyongyang said it might strike the strategically important US territory of Guam after US President Trump warned he would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it threatened the United States. "Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by the Republic of Korea", Moon remarked at a press conference in Seoul.

During the 40-minute talks, the defense chiefs also discussed ways to seek a complementary development of the Korea-U.S. alliance.

The liberal leader has been largely sidelined in recent weeks as Trump and the North engaged in a war of words.

  • Leroy Wright