|South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a press conference at Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) in Seoul, South Korea,on Thursday, to mark the 100th day since his inauguration in early May. EPA/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
SEOUL — There will be no war on the Korean peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday, despite high tensions over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.
"All South Koreans have worked so hard together to rebuild the country from the ruins of the Korean War," Moon told a press conference marking his first 100 days in office.
"I will prevent war at all cost," he added. "So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war."
Tensions have soared with Pyongyang threatening to send a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam - although it appears to have backed off for now. US President Donald Trump has promised "fire and fury" and said that Washington’s weapons were "locked and loaded".
The intense rhetoric on both sides has raised fears of a miscalculation leading to catastrophic consequences - Pyongyang has vast artillery forces deployed within range of Seoul, where millions of people live.
But Moon said Seoul effectively had a veto on military action by the US, its security ally and protector.
"No one can make a decision on military action on the Korean peninsula without our agreement," he said.
"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." — AFP