President Moon Says No to Calls to Develop Nuclear Weapons

Here is President Moon’s response to those calling for either the deployment or development of tactical nukes in South Korea:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ruled out the possibility of redeploying U.S. nuclear weapons in the country Thursday, CNN reported.

In an interview with the U.S. cable news channel, he warned it could lead to a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia.

“I do not agree that South Korea needs to develop our own nuclear weapons or relocate tactical nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat,” he was quoted by CNN as saying.

The interview was made ahead of his visit to New York next week to attend the U.N. General Assembly.

Moon said South Korea needs to develop military capabilities in the face of the North’s growing nuclear threat, while expressing objection to some conservatives’ call for Seoul’s own nuclear armament.

“To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia,” Moon said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but this is what the academic circles are saying about introducing nuclear weapons to South Korea:

South Korea obtaining nuclear armament will not stop North Korea’s military provocations or deter its nuclear threats, experts on the North said Thursday.

They expect deploying tactical nuclear weapons will only give Pyongyang more reason to speed up its nuclear development.

“The call to reintroduce nuclear weapons reflects an understandable frustration,” Stephan Haggard, director of the Korea-Pacific Program at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, told The Korea Times.

“But it does very little to strengthen the deterrent. Moreover, reintroducing nuclear weapons would only provide further justification for North Korea to continue with its own nuclear program. This is simply a bad idea.”

Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. special envoy to the six-party talks, also said he is not in favor of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, citing the U.S.’s extended nuclear deterrence commitment to the South.

“The U.S. is committed to the defense of South Korea, and our nuclear umbrella for South Korea and Japan is a very important and credible element of our deterrence strategy,” he said.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Report Claims President Trump Called ROK President a “Beggar” for His North Korea Stance

The Japanese media is claiming that President Trump has called ROK President Moon Jae-in a beggar due to his repeated calls for dialog with the Kim regime:

US President Donald Trump allegedly disparaged South Korean President Moon Jae-in as acting “like a beggar” with his calls for dialogue with North Korpea. The remarks were supposedly made in a telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese network Fuji TV reported on Sept. 7.According to the network, Trump made the disparaging remarks about Moon to Abe in a telephone conversation on Aug. 29, after North Korea test-launched a missile that passed through Japanese airspace. Trump was also quoted as asking Abe “not to tell anyone” about the need for military pressure on North Korea.  [Hankyoreh]

You can read more at the link.

President Moon Calls THAAD Deployment In South Korea Temporary

Can someone please define what temporary means?  Is the North Korean missile threat to South Korea just going to magically go away sometime soon to where the THAAD system will no longer be needed?:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in defended the government’s decision to fully deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system here Friday, saying it was an inevitable decision to protect his people from evolving nuclear and missile provocations from North Korea.

The president, however, hinted at possible changes in the future, calling it only a temporary decision.

“While ignoring our government and the international community’s repeated demands and warnings, North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test following a series of ballistic missile launches. And due to these developments, our security situation has become more serious than ever,” the president said in a released statement.

“Therefore, the government reached a decision that it could no longer delay the temporary deployment of THAAD to prevent war on the Korean Peninsula and protect the lives and safety of its people,” he added.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Moon Jae-in Draws Red Line Against North Korean Nuclear Weapons Development

It seems President Moon has made himself a pretty specific red line with North Korea that in my opinion he has no intention of actually enforcing:

The President’s definition of a “red line” for North Korea has fueled controversy, with critics questioning its adequacy.

At a press conference to mark his 100th day in office Thursday, President Moon Jae-in said that he would consider North Korea had crossed a red line “if it completes development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and weaponizes it by fitting a nuclear warhead on it.”

He also said, “North Korea is nearing the threshold of the red line.”

Some people, including Moon’s aides, interpreted the rare remarks as a warning to the North on its rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles. But criticism of his “diplomatic immaturity” was prevalent.

Pundits expressed concerns that the statement narrowed the Moon administration’s policy options in dealing with North Korea.

“Moon must be the first leader in the world who went into details of what constitutes a red line,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University’s department of unification and diplomacy. “Keeping ambiguity suits national interests. Moon may have said so to prevent a U.S. preemptive attack, but still, it exposed our intentions.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Report Claims ROK Military Developing Preemptive Strike Plan Against North Korea

The ROK military likely has personnel planning for all kinds of contingencies, but people are living in a fantasy land if they think President Moon is any where near authorizing a preemptive strike on North Korea:

According to a report in South Korea’s Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, which cites an unidentified government official, South Korea’s military is preparing a “surgical strike” scenario that could wipe out North Korean command and missile and nuclear facilities following an order by S.Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. Munhwa adds that the military is to report the scenario to presidential office after completing it as early as August 1.

As the report details, South Korea’s Special Forces are preparing a special strike op which would be launched in response to President Moon Jae-In’s order to remove the North Korean leadership in case of emergency. This operation is taking place in addition to separate preparations currently conducted by the country’s military forces.

Targeted by the surgical strike would be North Korea’s core facilities. As part of the operation, South Korea’s forces would launch Taurus cruise missiles from F-15 fighters, which would be able to strike all key facilities in Pyongyang and can also strike the office of the Chairman of the Labor Party, Kim Jong Eun, at the Pyongyang Labor Party headquarters.  [Zero Hedge]

You can read more at the link.

President Moon Calls for “Provisional Deployment” of THAAD Launchers

I wonder how much time by President Moon’s staff used thinking of a term to call the deployment of the four remaining THAAD launchers that would still appease their left wing political base?:

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a National Security Council session at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on July 29, 2017, in this photo provided by his office. (Yonhap)

On the liberal Moon Jae-in government’s countermeasures against the latest North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test, the ruling party voiced its consent, but opposition parties called for tougher ones, criticizing the president’s Berlin peace initiative that puts more weight on dialogue with the North than pressure on it.

In an emergency National Security Council meeting convened right after the North’s new ICBM test Friday night, Moon proposed a set of countermeasures, including the temporary deployment of four additional THAAD interceptor launchers, and ordered consultation with the United States on ways to bolster strategic deterrence against the recalcitrant North. The presidential office said later that the provisional deployment does not mean the retraction of a declared environmental impact assessment on the deployment site.  [Yonhap]

So basically the Moon administration is doing what the Park administration planned to do with the remaining THAAD launchers without calling it that.  What is ironic about this is that the Korea left is supporting President Moon’s decision despite their prior opposition to THAAD.

Picture of the Day: President Moon’s Beer Summit

Moon meets with biz leaders

President Moon Jae-in (C), Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Park Yong-maan (6th from L), and other business leaders toast with beers during their meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on July 27, 2017. Moon promised to continue holding frequent discussions with the country’s top business leaders on issues that may affect their businesses. (Yonhap)

President Moon Continues to Advocate for North Korea to Join Pyeongchang Olympics

I will say it once again, if the South Africans were banned from the Olympics because of their Apartheid policies than why is North Korea with its far worse human rights violations being championed by President Moon to be part of the Pyeongchang Olympics?:

President Moon Jae-in, center, and former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, at Moon’s left, both honorary ambassadors for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, pose together to wish for the country’s successful hosting of the sporting event in a ceremony on Monday in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, some 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Seoul. [YONHAP]

President Moon Jae-in renewed his invitation on Monday for North Korea to attend the Winter Olympic Games in the South next year, continuing his strategy of using sports diplomacy to thaw inter-Korean relations.

“I urge the North once again to make a decision,” Moon said. “We won’t have hasty optimism, but there is no need for us to take a pessimistic view either. We will leave the door open and wait until the last moment.”

Moon made the remarks during an event to promote the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Gangwon. The games, scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25, 2018, will start 200 days from Monday. [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

President Moon to Hold Beer Summit with ROK Business Leaders

Considering that President Moon has plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and businesses to create a welfare state, President Moon better serve some pretty good beer to get these ROK business leaders on board:

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold his first dialogue with top business leaders here this week over beer to help break the ice and possibly allow more frank discussions, an official from the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Tuesday.

The talks will be held Thursday and Friday, each day involving part of the top executives from the 14 largest business conglomerates, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.