South Korea: Taking military helm will scare the North

Alicia Cross
September 29, 2017

"It's very clear being on the ground there in South Korea and going up to the DMZ and standing on the border between North and South Korea of the grave threat that the North Korean regime presents to the United States as well as to the entire world", Daines said.

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.

"Our government's determination to protect peace requires strong defense capabilities", the president said.

Lee said North Korea is acting carefully at the border and Pyongyang's troops at the border have been ordered to "report first, taken action later".

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

The ministry had issued similar rules after a previous set of United Nations sanctions in August.

The North has continued to defy the worldwide community by conducting banned nuclear and missile tests regardless of the presence of around 30,000 American military personnel in South Korea - a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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The North Korean workers were seen buying pills, including Viagra, at a pharmacy in Kuwait ahead of their departure, according to the Chosun.

China, the North's main ally, would probably be extremely unhappy if Pyongyang tested a missile or carried out some other act during its Communist Party Congress, held every five years.

"Short-term, its hard to expect markets to recover fast (from North Korea related jitters)", Hwang said, adding that his team will be on stand-by to provide policy responses to any escalations that occur over the long Chuseok holiday from October 2 through October 9, when local financial markets will be closed.

"For now, managing risks (related to North Korea) and making sure that our sovereign credit rating stands unscathed are our top priorities", deputy finance minister Hwang Kun-il told Reuters in Sejong, south of Seoul.

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 Koreans have an extensive chemical weapons stockpile.

South Korean lawmakers said Chung had told them the United States and South Korea had agreed on the rotational deployment of USA strategic assets to South Korea, possibly as soon as year-end.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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