The current debate over North Korea’s nuclear program must be solved diplomatically, South Korea’s foreign minister said on Thursday as she added that any Washington military option should be consulted with her government first if it were to be considered.
“The nuclear issue has to be solved through negotiations and diplomatic endeavors. This idea of a military solution is unacceptable,” Kang Kyung-wha said at a news briefing on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The Trump administration has said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, and officials say the president and his advisers have discussed the possibility of a limited strike. But debate on military options has lost some momentum in recent weeks after North and South Korea resumed talks ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.
“I‘m assured that anything the U.S. administration does on this front is done in close consultation with us,” Kang said.
She declined to comment if Washington had given Seoul clear assurance but added: “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.”
In an earlier interview with Reuters, Kang said South Korea was prepared for “all contingency scenarios” in case North Korea stages another weapons test, even as the two countries conduct talks and mutual visits relating to the Olympics.
“We go into these discussions with a clear understanding of what might be possible,” Kang said, adding, “another provocation is always a possibility.”
Kang believes that the period for non-engagement with the north has gone on far too long and hopes that the joint Olympics venture will start an era of better dialogue.
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