South Korea's new president: High possibility of military clashes with North Korea

South Korea's new president: High possibility of military clashes with North Korea
A South Korean army soldier walks by a TV news program.
Source: Ahn Young-joon/AP
A South Korean army soldier walks by a TV news program.
Source: Ahn Young-joon/AP

On a Wednesday visit to his defense ministry, new South Korean President Moon Jae-In told his nation that North Korea's provocations — such as the Sunday testing of an intermediate-range ballistics missile — would not go unanswered, warning his people of the high likelihood of military action against their rogue state neighbor to the north, according to Agence France-Presse.

"I will never tolerate [North Korea's] provocations and nuclear threats," President Moon, who was sworn in last Wednesday, said. 

Addressing mounting anxieties about disputed maritime borders to the west and tensions on the land border north of Seoul, President Moon said, "We are living in the reality where there is a high possibility of military clashes."

President Moon called on his military to maintain a "watertight defense posture" against its adversary to the north, Agence France-Presse reported.

President Moon's warning comes just days after Pyongyang celebrated its test of a "perfect weapon system." On Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un launched a missile that represented "a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile," according to an aerospace engineer who spoke to the Washington Post

"If the U.S. awkwardly attempts to provoke [North Korea], it will not escape from the biggest disaster in the history," Kim said in a statement to the Korean Central News Agency.

His provocation to the West comes just two days after a senior diplomat for Pyongyang unexpectedly told reporters in China that North Korea would be open to bilateral talks with Washington, apparently swayed by President Donald Trump's recent praise of North Korea's dictatorial leader, whom Trump called a "real smart cookie."

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith is Senior Staff Writer for Mic covering... whatever this world is becoming. He was previously Director of Social Media and Analytics and Digital Strategist for Newsweek and the International Business Times. He attended Wesleyan University and lives in Brooklyn.

MORE FROM

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

Trump blasts Hilary Clinton, Comey and ‘Amazon Washington Post’ in tweet storm

He also defended Don Jr. and called Democrats "obstructionists" with "no ideas."