South Korean opposition calls on USA to share its nuclear arsenal

The protesters demanded that an independent body comprised of foreign experts assess any potential environmental damage if the Moon government wants to verify the safety of the THAAD radar

Moon's pushback was the latest indication that Trump's unorthodox approach to foreign policy, coupled with Pyongyang's rapid progress toward its goal of nuclear missiles that can reach the mainland USA, was putting new strain on the long-standing alliance.

Such a move would lead to an arms race in Asia and weaken global efforts against North Korea's nuclear programme, Lee told broadcaster YTN?News on Wednesday.

But Trump's threat to bring "fire and fury" to North Korea, along with other statements from USA officials about the possibility of war, has unnerved many South Koreans and put pressure on Moon to live up to his campaign promise.

North Korean media reported on Tuesday that Kim had delayed the decision on firing four missiles towards Guam, a US territory home to a vital air base and Navy facility, while he waited to see what the United States did next.

Mr Moon separately called for a peaceful solution to the nuclear stand-off, saying that "there must not be another war on the Korean Peninsula".

"Any military action taken on the Korean peninsula would be in consultation with our allies", General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Beijing on Thursday.

Mr Trump wrote: "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

North Korea and the United States should make more of an effort to settle the perilous situation over Pyongyang's nuclear program now transpiring on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday.

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When asked about the South's relations with Japan, Moon said he is willing to improve the countries' cooperation in dealing with regional issues, including the North Korean nuclear and missile provocations.

As a candidate for the presidency, Moon, a liberal who took office in May, said he would "say no to the Americans" if necessary.

Moon's comments follow a week of heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, D.C. After raising the possibility of striking a United States territory last week, North Korea has reportedly backed off from its threat to launch missiles at Guam.

Moon's news conference Wednesday came less than one week before the beginning of yearly military exercises between South Korean and US troops.

For the past decade under conservative South Korean governments, talks between Seoul and Pyongyang had nearly been suspended over Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile developments. This would involve negotiating with the USA to redeploy some of its own nuclear weapons to the country.

This prompted Kim to announce a plan to test fire four intermediate-range missiles into waters near Guam - a United States territory in the Pacific that is home to American military bases. Kim said North Korea would conduct the launches if the "Yankees persist in their extremely risky reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity", warning the United States to "think reasonably and judge properly" to avoid shaming itself, KCNA reported. Trump then said America's military was "locked and loaded" if provoked. It would be a test of the Hwasong-12, a new missile the country flight-tested for the first time in May.

North Korea strongly condemns the exercises calling them preparations for "invasion".

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