Korean president asserts right to veto United States strike on North

EUO 3TP TPSOUT KOROUT

Another Washington D.C. source, familiar with both the South Korean and US situation, said, "Realistically, it's hard to minimize or adjust the scope of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which is happening very soon", but also added that, "however, offering the possibility of minimizing and adjusting the next exercise could be part of a viable negotiation strategy toward North Korea".

But, 24 hours after that call, Trump vowed to unleash "fire and fury" on Kim Jong Un's regime, leaving President Moon's administration "somewhat concerned", his aide said.

China, too, is concerned about the missile-defense system because of its advanced radar capabilities and has responded with a boycott of tourism to South Korea, impacting the country's businesses.

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Another well-placed source said, "I know that the US is leaning towards adjusting or minimizing parts of the drills in the joint US-South Korea Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which begins on the 21st".

Relations between the two were "an absolute fail", it added, saying that while Moon spoke of dialogue and implementing North-South agreements, his actions moved in the opposite direction.

If Moon appears somewhat ambivalent, however he still is showing his desire for independence from the fetters of the American relationship - albeit not in a way that will be pleasing to North Korea.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States surged last week after the isolated country said it would finalize a plan by mid-August to launch four intermediate range missiles toward waters off the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Provocative words
Provocative words

But the atmosphere is likely to worsen again next week when the United States and South Korea kick off their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military drills.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that "Americans should sleep well at night", while commenting on the crisis.

The U.S. has nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea and protects it with a so-called nuclear umbrella.

"The U.S. sought to put maximum pressure and sanctions through the latest UN Security Council resolution", Moon said. Asked about potential unilateral US action, he said "that's purely speculative and a decision to do that would be by the president".

According to Moon's spokesman, Dunford said in the meeting that the U.S. would only consider military action against North Korea if all diplomatic and economic sanctions failed.

Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun lambasted Moon in a rare editorial that not only described Moon's North Korea policy as a failure but also accused the South Korean leader of betraying a unitary Korean people. "We can't lose everything with a new war".

During the 40-minute talks, the defense chiefs also discussed ways to seek a complementary development of the Korea-U.S. alliance.

"The South Korean government doesn't have any kind of justifications and rights to intervene here and argue right and wrong". Also within range are numerous 28,500 United States troops stationed in the South.

Head of United States armed forces to hold talks in Seoul
Security Council resolution", the South Korean leader said. "Under the right conditions, I will also go to Pyongyang". Last week, Pyongyang said it is considering striking areas around Guam using intermediate-range missiles.

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