Moon says S. Korea, US stand ready to counter any N. Korean provocation

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 7, 2017 - 15:20
  • Updated : Aug 7, 2017 - 15:35
South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea on Monday to halt provocations and come to the dialogue table, noting the allied forces of South Korea and the United States stand ready to counter any provocation.

"Yesterday, a new UN Security Council resolution was adopted with an unprecedented speed and an unanimous vote with the support of all major countries, including China and Russia," the president said while meeting with his top presidential aides at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"I hope North Korea will understand the latest sanctions resolution is a firm determination of the international community, and choose the path to dialogue," he added, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

The weekly meeting with the top presidential secretaries came hours after Moon held a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) speaks at a weekly meeting with his top secretaries held at his office Cheong Wa Dae on Aug. 7, 2017. (Yonhap)

The South Korean leader said he and Trump "again affirmed the principle that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula must be achieved through peaceful means."

"The government will work to overcome the serious security issue not through a military confrontation but through peaceful and diplomatic means under any circumstances," Moon said.

"Our military maintains full readiness, based on the strong Korea-US alliance, and has the capability to counter any type of provocation that may threaten us," he added.

Washington currently maintains some 28,500 US troops here as part of its military alliance with South Korea.

Turning to local issues, the president called for fundamental measures to prevent abuse of power by ranking military officers, as well as government officials.

The call came amid an ongoing investigation by the military prosecution into alleged abuse of power by Gen. Park Chan-ju, the commanding general of the Army's 2nd Operational Command, in which the general and his wife are suspected of treating Army conscripts like slaves.

The conscripts, mostly in their early 20s, have been assigned to the couple to help them maintain their official residence.

Many who have served or are serving the posts have come out to testify that the Parks have abused them both physically and emotionally.

"We must work to root out the longstanding culture of abusing power in the military. We must come up with fundamental solutions to prevent the mistreatment of our soldiers," the president said.

He also called for inspections of all government offices, including overseas missions, to see if any tradition of abuse also exists. (Yonhap)