North Korea crisis: South’s leader in plea to avoid war
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on his US allies to help prevent a war, amid worsening tension over the North’s nuclear threat.
Mr Moon told the visiting top US military official that there must be a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Gen Joseph Dunford said the US priority was diplomacy but added that military options were being prepared should sanctions against the North fail.
The North on Monday said any war could “only be turned into a nuclear war”.
Also on Monday, China’s commerce ministry issued an order banning a slew of imports from North Korea, in line with additional UN sanctions that were announced earlier this month.
The sanctions were introduced in response to a wave of missile tests and increased military rhetoric from North Korea.
The latest tests led US President Donald Trump to warn of “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.
He said the US was “locked and loaded” after the North threatened to target the US territory of Guam with missile tests. The US has 28,500 troops in South Korea.
Mr Moon sought to ease the tension, telling advisers at a meeting: “Our top priority is the national interest of [South Korea] and our national interest lies in peace.
“I am confident that the US will respond to the current situation in a calm and responsible manner in line with our policy direction.”