Moon proposed trilateral talks with China, US on Thaad

Korea tensions ease slightly as US officials play down war risks

"If North Korea fails to comply with the peaceful path to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula agreed upon by Korean and U.S. leaders or crosses the red line, there is no telling what our response may be", he said.

This move is expected to cause controversy, as it is the first time the South Korean government has officially made an announcement regarding behavior that "will not be tolerated.' During a press conference held to mark the 100th day of his presidency, President Moon stated "At the point where North Korea is able to build an ICBM armed with a nuclear warhead, I believe that is where we need to draw a red line, and it appears that the North is drawing closer to that critical line".

Moon has called for reducing tensions through talks and engagement.

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

His comments followed Mattis' threat that it would be "game on" if North Korea carried out with its threat to fire missiles towards the U.S. island territory of Guam.

Even in light of the recent high tensions and brinkmanship between the U.S. and North Korea, the "double-freeze", or the idea often floated by China and North Korea whereby the USA stops military exercises and limits or eliminates its presence in North Korea in exchange for denuclearization, won't budge.

He also declared, amid fears in South Korea that threats from Trump to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang could lead to real fighting, that there would be no second war on the Korean Peninsula.

"The US and President Trump also said, no matter what option they take about North Korea, all decisions will be made after consulting with and getting agreement with the Republic of Korea".

Moon said he believes dialogue with North Korea can happen when North Korea halts missile and nuclear tests.

The liberal leader has been largely sidelined in recent weeks as Trump and the North engaged in a war of words.

The mainly computer-simulated drills and other joint exercises always infuriate Pyongyang, which considers them rehearsals for an invasion despite US insistence that they're defensive in nature.

"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.

China is North Korea's main ally and biggest trade partner. Each year, the exercises expand bit by bit, and each year, North Korea issues threats in response. -South Korean alliance, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement released today.

Brian Padden and Richard Green reported this story for VOA News. Hai Do was the editor. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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