World Media

US Preparing Military 'Options' Against North Korea: Dunford

US Preparing Military 'Options' Against North Korea: Dunford

A special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said USA counterpart Donald Trump's recent comments against North Korea were "very worrisome". "I would like to warn North Korea to end its unsafe gamble", he added.

The country's media reported that at least 3.5 million young people and retired soldiers have joined the military to fight in the event of a war against the US.

The U.S. cited concern over unsafe intercepts of its aircraft by China, and a lack of transparency in military spending.

Moon's statement is a clear message to Trump: Seoul must be involved in any decision to go to war.

Moon said he would be ready for dialogue once the isolated nation stops its provocations, but added there was no rush. He took office last Friday.

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And he's made moves to do just that.

"The goal of strong sanctions and pressure against North Korea is to bring it to the negotiating table, not to raise military tensions", he reportedly said.

The war of words between Pyongyang and Washington had escalated tensions on the peninsula.

Joseph Dunford said a "full range" of contingency plans had been drawn up in case diplomatic and economic sanctions did not deter Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons.

The sanctions, Moon said was aimed to prevent war and to force the DPRK to come to the dialogue table. "In this regard, the position of the Korean Government is not different from that of the US Government".

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The editorial also claimed North Korea is "confident" about the capabilities of its weapons, while referring to its recent statement about the regime's capability to target the US territory of Guam.

Moon's promise came at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea, which earlier in August threatened with a plan to launch four missiles towards areas close to Guam, where important American military bases are stationed.

China has been angered by United States freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea and continued U.S. arms sales and support for self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as a wayward province.

The United States and South Korea remain technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. "It's a firm agreement between South Korea and the United States", Moon said.

His remarks may actually resonate with Trump's own views, though, according to Georgetown University nuclear expert Matthew Kroenig.

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Expect Dunford to try reassuring Seoul that Washington will act responsibly in dealing with Pyongyang.