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USA general says Trump has final say on unilateral Korea strike

21 Août 2017

General Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured Mr. Moon that the United States government would always resort to diplomacy.

Tension on the Korean peninsula eased slightly on Monday as South Korea's president said resolving North Korea's nuclear ambitions must be done peacefully and USA officials played down the risk of an imminent war.

Under the orders of leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been testing missiles at an unprecedented pace since past year and last week said it was developing a plan to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

President Moon said his government will succeed the late former leader's vision for reunification with North Korea based on peace and security.

South Korean citizens and the media have been less shy about ripping into both Trump, for his threat, and the government of President Moon Jae-in, for not taking the US president to task for evoking a potential war that would likely result in tens of thousands of Korean deaths.

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

Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

"Peace is in South Korea's national interest". Of course, the same obviously applies to propaganda and rhetoric coming out of North Korea.

Pyongyang also slammed the military exercise via a KCNA editorial earlier in the week, entitled "Does the United States desire self-destruction?"

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The U.S. has in place two THAAD launchers and has been pressing for the installment of a full battery of six launchers, but South Korea had held up the deployment pending an environmental study. Asked if he considers Guam part of the USA, he said, "Yeah, it sure is".

Shortly after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test, which it claimed was of a "standardized" warhead that could fit on a variety of its rockets. The president followed up by pledging "to the Korean people, I make this categorical promise: we are effectively managing the crisis, and we are taking thorough precautions for any contingencies".

During a news conference on Thursday he said, "I can confidently say there will not be a war again on the Korean Peninsula". "We are closely monitoring every move by the United States".

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford told South Korea's Moon in a meeting on Monday that U.S. military options being prepared against North Korea would be for when diplomatic and economic sanctions failed, according to Moon's office.

The North Korean military are putting the final touches on a plan to fire four missiles into the waters around the U.S. territory of Guam, to be presented to leader Kim Jong-un within days.

He backed that up on Friday by saying that the U.S. was "locked and loaded" to take on the rogue state and that Kim would "regret it fast" if he attacked Guam or any of America's allies.

He urged North Korea to halt all provocations immediately and return to the dialogue table. This prompted Kim to announce a plan to test fire four intermediate-range missiles into waters near Guam - a USA territory in the Pacific that is home to American military bases.

"If they shoot at the United States, I'm assuming they hit the United States - if they do that, then it's "game on", he said.

USA general says Trump has final say on unilateral Korea strike