Seoul says military solution to North Korea crisis ‘unacceptable’

January 25, 2018 8:37 am

South ’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

has hinted for the first time since the start of a standoff with the North over Pyongyang’s nuclear program last year that a military solution would be no answer to the crisis and that differences should be settled diplomatically.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Thursday that talks were the only viable option for resolving the crisis over ’s nuclear program.
“The nuclear issue has to be solved through negotiations and diplomatic endeavors. This idea of a military solution is unacceptable,” said Kang while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The top diplomat said she was positive the United States, her country’s main ally in the standoff with North Korea, would obtain South Korea’s approval before any military action on the issue.
“I‘m assured that anything the US administration does on this front is done in close consultation with us,” Kang said, adding, “This is our fate that is at stake. Any option that is to be taken on the Korean peninsula cannot be implemented without us going along.”
The remarks come amid a relative ease in the months-long tensions over North Korea’s weapons and nuclear activities. A series of advanced missile and nuclear tests by the country last year prompted the US and its allies in the region to pile maximum pressure on Pyongyang.
Washington has engineered rounds of international sanctions on North Korea. It has also expanded the scope of its joint military drills with . Many fear that an all-out war could break out in the region as the North and the US have on a number of occasions threatened each other with nuclear attacks.  
However, Seoul has offered an olive branch to Pyongyang by inviting the North’s athletes to this year’s Winter Olympics while representatives from the two countries have held limited talks on some military issues.
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