Mattis Congratulates South Korea's New Defense Minister

Mattis Congratulates South Korea's New Defense Minister

Australian Defence personnel will next week find themselves in the middle of the escalating North Korean military crisis when they take part in joint training exercises between the United States and South Korea.

Annual military drills involving tens of thousands of USA and South Korean troops are due to begin on Monday.

Called Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), the joint drills have their roots in a 1968 raid on South Korea's Blue House presidential complex, when Unit 124 of the North Korean army secretly entered South Korea and unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate the then president, Park Chung-hee.

Mr Trump had promised to seek negotiations and approval from South Korea before taking any options regarding North Korea, Mr Moon added.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that if North Korea fired on US territory it would be "game on."You don't shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences", Mattis said in Pentagon".

"I will prevent war at all cost", South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters Thursday, which marked his first 100 days in office.

David Wright, a USA analyst from the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an emailed statement that the United States should "postpone or significantly restructure" the exercises to reduce the risk of military confrontation.

Washington has warned it is ready to use force if needed to stop North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes, but that it prefers global diplomatic action. "The U.S. calls it a 'defensive exercise".

The company said the South Korean economy has strong fundamentals to keep pulling off better growth in the future.

Pyongyang says that it is going nuclear in order to deter the more powerful United States from launching a nuclear or conventional war against it.

North Korea has often threatened to attack the United States and its bases, and released similar photos in the past without following through.

Neither the one next week or a large one usually held in March would impact USA readiness, and they could be replaced with more targeted drills that focus on command and control systems, he said. Shortly after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test, which it claimed was of a "standardized" warhead that could fit on a variety of its rockets.

He said the entitled to take measures if the North acts aggressively toward it, but the South's permission is necessary for military action on the peninsula. -South Korean military exercises - even if it provokes North Korea.

South Korea's Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper said in an August 11 editorial that the allies could gain a bargaining chip in efforts to persuade the North into meaningful nuclear talks by halting or scaling down the joint drills.

The US rejects this outright, and scaling down the drills now would make President Donald Trump look weak so soon after his warnings of "fire and fury".

That ignores the reality that the Kim Jong-un regime wants to achieve the ability to hit the United States with nuclear weapons so badly, there is no package of incentives that would be acceptable to Washington and Seoul that would lead Pyongyang to abandon its goal.

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