Seoul Rules Out Military Solution for North Korea Crisis Despite US Statements
AP Photo/ Ahn Young-joonPolitics21:08 05.09.2017(updated 00:20 06.09.2017) Get short URLTopic: Hot Button Issue: Latest Launches, Nuclear Tests Escalate Korean Crisis
Despite US officials’ statements not ruling out a military solution to the North Korean problem following the latest nuclear test, Seoul disagreed with the idea to apply force.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Seoul opposes a military option for resolving the conflict over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, South Korean Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun said Tuesday.
“We cannot accept in any case a war on Korean Peninsula. We cannot accept a war as an option. This is not because we are weak, but because we have only too vivid memories of the Korean War,” Cho said at a conference in Washington, DC.
Cho added that Seoul would continue imposing sanctions pressure on the North, as it believes that it would lead Pyongyang to dialogue. South Korea will also call on China to join this sanctions campaign, the diplomat pointed out.
The official emphasized that both Washington and South Korea are closely collaborating for the creation of the joint approach to resolving the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Cho suggested that the efforts aimed at the denuclearization of North Korea should be doubled.
Commenting on North Korean Sunday’s nuclear test, US President Donald Trump said Pyongyang’s actions are “hostile and dangerous,” emphasizing that the “talk of appeasement” would not work. He also reaffirmed the US readiness to protect the US and its allies by “using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.”
At the same time, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Monday at a UNSC emergency meeting on North Korea that Kim Jong Un “is begging for war” by conducting the nuclear test.
As tensions on the Korean Peninsula have further escalated this summer, Russia and China proposed the “double freeze” plan to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, urging North Korea to stop nuclear tests, while calling on the US and South Korea to refrain from joint drills. The US has already rejected the peace plan.
Earlier on Tuesday, Putin told journalists at the BRICS summit in China that North Korea will not abandon the development of nuclear weapons under the pressure of sanctions since it regards this program as a security issue, thus, the problem could only be solved by diplomatic means.