Seoul urges United States to avoid 'further escalation' with N. Korea

The lawmakers of the parliament's intelligence committee give a briefing to the press at the National Assembly in Seoul in this

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

South Korea expects in mid-October of provocation from the DPRK in connection with the anniversary of the founding of its Communist party.

The official also noted that South Korea is strong enough to deal with the possible financial risks stemming from North Korean provocations and US monetary tightening, citing that the country posted a current account surplus for 65 straight months and held a record $384.8 billion in foreign reserves as of the end of August.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in insisted Thursday he has "confidence" in his own military as he moved to take wartime operational control from the United States.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated in recent weeks as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump exchange threats and insults over the Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development program.

The North has accused Trump of declaring war after he warned Kim's regime would not last if he persisted in threatening the United States and its allies, having earlier warned North Korea would be totally destroyed in such an event. "We will make North Korea realize that it has no future should it try to face the rest of the world with nukes", he said.




Sanctions, however, are forcing North Korean workers with blacklisted entities like Namkang Construction to leave Kuwait, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

North Korea has threatened to shoot down USA bombers outside Pyongyang's airspace, but North Korea's military may not be ready to take such measures against US aircraft.

The North Korean regime poses a "grave threat" to the USA and the world, according to Sen. "That's just 35 miles from North Korea's border".

The senator said he saw the importance of the USA and its allies being unified against the regime.

Moon said he had opposed the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in South Korea, but rapid improvement in North Korea's missile capabilities prompted the decision.

Moon said that the solution for the crisis on the Korean Peninsula must consist of "resolving the strategic distrust between the USA and North Korea".

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