After presiding over a National Security Council meeting in the aftermath of North Korea’s latest missile launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he is now faced with an “impossible situation”.
He then stated,
“In case North Korea undertakes provocations against us or our ally, we have the power to destroy (the North) beyond recovery. I hope the people will trust the government’s determination and efforts, and go about their lives without wavering”.
This is Moon’s strongest statement about Seoul’s military perspective on the DPRK since becoming President in May of 2017.
Moon further said that he will no longer seek to initiate any dialogue with the leadership in Pyongyang. Instead, he remarked,
“Dialogue is impossible in a situation like this. International sanctions and pressure will further tighten to force North Korea to choose no other option but to step forward on the path to genuine dialogue.”
In this sense, he has adopted an attitude not dissimilar from that of the United States which asserts that only through pressure and sanctions will North Korea itself initiate some kind of diplomatic process.
It has further been reported that South Korea launched two missiles form a position near the North Korean border, while the North Korean missile was still airborne. The South Korean missiles both landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Shortly thereafter, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned North Korea’s launch, citing his “deep concern”.