South Korea proposes joint inquiry with North into Japanese colonial rule

Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong speaks at the fifth South Korea China public diplomacy forum on Jeju Island on Aug. 17 2017

Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong speaks at the fifth South Korea China public diplomacy forum on Jeju Island on Aug. 17 2017

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said on Monday that the military options being prepared against North Korea would be for when diplomatic and economic sanctions failed, South Korea's president's office said on Monday, Reuters reported. The two sides agreed to maintain a solid joint defense posture to swiftly respond to the North's possible provocations.

One of North Korea's stated reason for building up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs is the fear of US-led regime change, as in Iraq and Libya.

Trump will issue an order later on Monday to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practices that force USA firms operating in China to turn over intellectual property, senior administration officials said on Saturday.

Before this, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he would not be surprised if North Korea tested another missile.

"I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war", he told a press conference marking his first 100 days in office.

Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself from possible invasion by its "imperialist enemy" the USA and has long sought to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

Song is scheduled to visit Washington on August 30th for his first formal talks with Mattis. President Moon even said he'll consider sending a special envoy to North Korea if the North stops provocations.

President Donald Trump made a warning to the North regarding its threats on Guam.

The missile plans were previously announced, and Kim said North Korea would conduct the launches if the "Yankees persist in their extremely risky reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity" and that the United States should "think reasonably and judge properly" to avoid shaming itself, the news agency said.

Bannon said he was pushing the United States administration to take a harder line on China trade and not put complaints against its trade practices in the backseat in the hope that Beijing would help restrain leader Kim Jong Un.

The annual drills antagonize Pyongyang which see the exercises as practice for an invasion, however the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

While the USA has given tough warnings even at a possibility of missile launches, South Korea has offered to the North to participate in the Olympics despite its threat to make the South "a sea of fire".

"Against North Korea, even with extreme pressure, it has to be solved peacefully and our opinion and U.S. opinion about this matter is not different", Moon said. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan - apparently showing the missiles' flight route.

The ambassador said that the basics refer to respecting each other's key interests and desires, seeking to advance friendly relations further, working together to secure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and jointly contributing to global peace and prosperity.

North Korea's military had said last week it would finalize and send to Kim for approval the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

Trump says: "The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!" -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year make it unclear, however, if diplomacy will prevail.

Moon has long wished to ease tensions on the peninsula through negotiations, and last month called for talks with North Korea.

Dunford told DoD News that he told Chinese officials that the US approach to North Korea is based on diplomatic and economic pressure.

"If North Korea launches another provocation, it will face even stronger sanctions and it will not be able to survive them".

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