Alwaght- Newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in has warned that there is a “high possibility” of military conflict with North Korea.
"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL [Northern Limit Line] and military demarcation line," Moon said, adding that Seoul is capable of striking back in case of attack.
The statement came after North Korea conducted its latest missile test, which has been strongly condemned by the UN.
While Pyongyang says the latest test launch of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads was conducted “in consideration of the safety of neighboring countries,” Moon criticized Pyongyang’s actions as a “serious challenge to global peace and stability".
"We will never tolerate such North Korean provocations and nuclear threats," he stated during a visit to the Defense Ministry in Seoul Wednesday, as cited by Yonhap news agency
Moon also said that Seoul will “sternly deal with the North” alongside the international community. The statement comes as the UN Security Council threatened with a new round of sanctions against Pyongyang".
However, North Korea does not seem willing to stop its missile launches, including nuclear ones.
Pak Jong-hak, the director of Asian affairs, told the diplomats stationed in Pyongyang that the North is ready to counter Washington's possible attacks, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"Until the US and its followers make the right choice, we will further produce sophisticated and diversified nuclear weapons and striking means and push to prepare for necessary tests,” Pak Jong-hak added.
The missile launched Saturday reportedly covered a distance of 700km before descending into the Sea of Japan (also known as the East Sea), according to South Korean and Japanese militaries’ data. The projectile landed some 500km from the Russian border, but posed no threat to security, the Russian Defense Ministry stated. The test followed Pyongyang’s two previous failed attempts last month.
The disputed NLL lies in the Yellow Sea the between South and North Korea and is considered the de facto maritime boundary between them. The 1953 military demarcation line serves as the land border.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been near boiling point following increased provocations by the US which include military drills and deployment of warships and submarines in the region.
Pyongyang insists that developing its military defenses including nuclear weapons is important to counter incessant provocations by the US including a possible nuclear aggression.