“There will be no war,” says South Korean President
Moon Jae-in said that South Korea had worked so hard to rebuild itself that it would prevent war “at all costs”.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in assured on Thursday (August 17th) that there will be no war on the Korean peninsula despite tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs.
“All South Koreans have worked so hard to rebuild the country that was in ruins after the Korean War,” Moon told a press conference marking his first 100 days as president.
“I will prevent war at all costs. So I want all South Koreans to be convinced that there will not be war. “
A tense context
The situation in the region has grown dramatically. The North Korea has threatened to shoot a missile volley near the US territory of Guam, in the Pacific, although Pyongyang seems to have momentarily put his project back.
Pyongyang was reacting to the statements of US President Donald Trump, who promised to unleash Pyongyang “fire and anger” if the North Korean threats to the United States continued. Washington also said its army was ready.
This bellicose rhetoric makes us fear a miscalculation which would have catastrophic consequences. Seoul and its millions of inhabitants are within the reach of the considerable artillery of North Korea.
Veto on any military action
The United States deploys 28,500 troops to South Korea to protect it from its northern neighbor. But Moon said he had a de facto veto on any military action in Washington, ally, and guarantor of the security of Seoul.
“No one can make a decision on military action on the Korean peninsula without our consent,” he said. “The United States and President Trump have also stated that whatever option they choose with respect to North Korea, a decision would be taken only after consultation with the Republic of Korea and “ Said Moon.
The South Korean president, who traveled to Washington in late June, refused to criticize Donald Trump’s incendiary statements.
“US President Trump is trying to put pressure on North Korea by showing his determination . I do not think he is trying to show a certain disposition to launch a military action. “
Do not rush
In the past, the center- left president, a former human rights lawyer, was in favor of a form of dialogue with Pyongyang to bring him back to the negotiating table, along with a policy of sanctions. This approach had been criticized by those who feared that it would break a corner in the relationship with the American ally.
But since he came to power, Pyongyang has swept the opening gestures and Moon no longer puts dialogue at the forefront.
“I do not think we should rush,” he said. For there to be talks, “there must be a guarantee of success. North Korea must at least cease its provocations to create a climate conducive to dialogue “.
It was only then that Seoul could consider sending a representative to the North, Moon said. “The red line would be that the North completes its ICBM and the team of a nuclear warhead. ” In the event of a “new provocation, it will face even tougher sanctions and will not survive. I want to warn North Korea that it must put an end to his games dangerous, “ again accused the South Korean leader.
Kim Jong-un said Tuesday he would not take an immediate decision on Guam. But the joint annual military exercises between Seoul and Washington, known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian, must start on Monday. For ten days, tens of thousands of soldiers will take part in these maneuvers, which never fail to arouse the ire of Pyongyang.