South Korea Warns Trump Only It Can Declare War On North

Tyler Durden's picture

A day after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford promised him that the US would exhaust all diplomatic options, including another round of UN sanctions, before resorting to a “military solution” in its simmering conflict with North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reminded Washington during a forceful Tuesday speech that the US would need to seek, and receive, South Korea’s consent before risking another armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, signaling his country will no longer stay quiet as tensions escalate with its northern neighbor.

As Bloomberg summarizes, "Moon asserted the right to veto any military action against Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that decision should be made by “ourselves and not by anyone else.” He vowed to prevent war at any cost - a statement that drew a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S."

Some highlights from his speech:

  • "Without South Korea’s consent no one can determine military actions on the Korean peninsula"
  • South Korea govt will prevent war at any cost; "There will be no war repeated on the Korean peninsula"
  • South Korea will work closely with U.S. to overcome security threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear missiles
  • South Korea govt will "strengthen diplomatic efforts in order not to shake principles for a peaceful resolution"
  • Sanctions and talks should go together; "Sanctions are not to heighten military tensions but to bring North Korea to talks"

Moon’s speech coincided with the Korean independence-day holiday on Tuesday, which is celebrated in both the North and the South. The holiday commemorates the defeat of the Japanese during World War II.  According to Yonhap news agency, Moon marked the occasion by visiting the graves of independence fighters. Meanwhile, Moon’s counterpart, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, ""celebrated by backing off his threat to launch a nuclear strike against Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean that’s about 2,000 miles away from the Korean Peninsula – well within the range of the North’s missiles.

According to KCNA, the North Korean news agency, Kim has received a report from the army about its plans to strike the area around Guam and said, "he will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision."

Moon, a leftist politician who has advocated for closer ties with the North, “extended the olive branch” during his speech, offering a “fresh invitation” to diplomatic talks if its isolated neighbor would suspend its missile tests. Here’s more from WSJ:

“President Moon Jae-in extended the latest olive branch to North Korea in a speech Tuesday on the 72nd anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. He called on the regime to suspend nuclear and missile tests as a precondition for talks, and offered a fresh invitation for the North to attend next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. But in a message, that appeared to be aimed at Washington, he said that allied military action could only be taken on the Korean Peninsula with the consent of South Korea, an implicit signal that Mr. Moon wouldn’t tolerate any unilateral action by the U.S. to strike North Korea following weeks of escalating tensions.


‘War must never break out again on the Korean Peninsula. Only the Republic of Korea can make the decision for military action on the Korean Peninsula,’ he said, using the country’s formal name.”

A day after China banned key imports from North Korea in accordance with new UN sanctions passed two weeks ago, Moon called for “further sanctions” against the Kim regime if talks fail to produce a “peaceful solution.”

“Mr. Moon reiterated his support for further sanctions on North Korea, saying such an approach could help bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table. He argued that the last time North Korea agreed to a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing, its relations with South Korea, the U.S. and Japan improved.”

Historically speaking, relations with North Korea tend to improve when the international community levies sanctions while also focusing on dialogue, according to WSJ.

“The past history of the North Korean nuclear problem showed that a clue to resolving the problem was found when sanctions were combined with dialogue,” he said.”


“Mr. Moon, South Korea’s first left-leaning president in nearly a decade, has called for closer cooperation with North Korea. In his speech Tuesday, Mr. Moon appeared to push for more independence from the U.S. on military affairs, though he emphasized, on two separate occasions, that his position wasn’t different from Washington’s.


“We cannot rely only on our ally for our security,” Mr. Moon said. ‘When it comes to matters related to the Korean Peninsula, our country has to take the initiative in resolving them.’”

Luckily, the US and South Korea largely agree on how to handle North Korea, and both see nuclear annihilation as an unacceptable option, according to the Associated Press.

“Moon said his South Korean government “will put everything on the line to prevent another war in the Korean Peninsula.” He says the “North Korean nuclear program should absolutely be solved peacefully, and the (South Korean) government and the U.S. government don’t have a different position on this.”

Meanwhile, in the surest sign yet that the US and the North are engaging in back-channel talks, the North Korean state-owned television channel KCNA reported that further releases of Americans detained in NK were not being discussed, according to the AP.

“A short dispatch from state news agency KCNA said Tuesday that a foreign ministry spokesman made the statement in response to foreign media reports that talks are ongoing. It did not identify which media.

The Associated Press reported last week that a U.S. envoy and his North Korean counterpart have discussed three other Americans being held in North Korea.”

In other news, Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio – who just yesterday taunted the North by saying bully” Kim Jong Un deserved a “punch in the nose” – expressed relief that North Korea appears to be holding off on an imminent launch of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory in the Pacific, the AP reported. China has also urged the two sides to iron out their difficulties during talks. We now await the next update from President Donald Trump to confirm whether détente is truly on the table. 

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arby63's picture

Thanks for the warning. Last I checked, only the Media had us in a war.

i-dog's picture

Ummm ... isn't South Korea already still at war with North Korea (but under a ceasefire)?

slwsnowman40's picture

Yes, that is correct.  I think the proper term is armistice.

JackT's picture

Everyone is tough now that Kimmie has been broken

UndergroundPost's picture

"Historically speaking, relations with North Korea tend to improve when the international community levies sanctions while also focusing on dialogue, according to WSJ."

Really? Historically speaking, the Kim family & Communist North Korea became a nuclear power, murdered many of its own citizens, consolidated power & emerged as a prison pariah state when "the international community" levied sanctions.

Starving an enslaved population to achieve political aims is satanic

Occident Mortal's picture


In serious escalation of Korean crisis Kim Jong Un surrenders nuclear weapons but hires lawyer on 9th circuit.

Fears mount that Kim will undo Trumps naval patrol orders and instruct 7th Fleet to scuttle itself off coast of Alaska. Trump powerless to stop him.

Perimetr's picture

No worries

we will notify them immediately after we launch . . .

bpj's picture

NK is like a junkie that steals your wallet and then helps you look for it. Evreything they do is a lie

SmackDaddy's picture

"Starving an enslaved population to achieve political aims is satanic"

You mean like the Weimar Republic?

MEFOBILLS's picture

Really? Historically speaking, the Kim family & Communist North Korea became a nuclear power, murdered many of its own citizens, 

For a balanced view, it is good to walk in the other guys shoes.  Here is a propaganda film by NK, which puts the west in an unflattering light.  NK also points out in the film, they have not invaded other countries in war, or committed mass murder like the West, and specifically the U.S.

For every negative you can level at NK, they can point back equally.  

Kim and family are probably worried about coming to an end, like Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi bayonetted in the rectum:

(Gaddafi did everything the "west" asked him to do.)

Justin Case's picture

An agreement was reached in September 2005 following the so-called six party talks (South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the US). No progress has been made since then, although the North Koreans reiterated as recently as November 2010 that they were willing to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear program, place the program under IAEA inspection, and conclude a permanent treaty to replace the 1953 armistice. In short, to implement what had been agreed (along with a number of other points) in October 1994.

It is the US that has refused to sit down with North Korea and negotiate such a settlement. Instead, the US has installed the THAAD missile system in South Korea, which the Chinese, as well as the North Koreans, correctly claim is a direct threat to their security.

The US continues to conduct joint military exercises off the Korean coast, the maritime boundaries of which are themselves in violation of international maritime law. Further, as noted above, the making of threats of unilateral (and illegal) military action are hardly conducive to the resolution of any dispute. Neither is unhelpfully labeling the other party a member of an “axis of evil” likely to do anything to improve relations.

lucitanian's picture

And I just wanted to add, how timely your "dear" leader Phrump has just come out with his brilliant idea of unilaterally abrogating an agreement with Iran on the same subject of ending nuclear arms development there and suggesting further sanctions and threats.

I mean what's he really saying? Ya the last two guys we dealt with about this matter who didn't have nukes, one who even agreed to give them up (he had a couple left over from South Africa that Israel had helped to build and test), we had those guys killed anyway. "We came, we saw, he died" with a bayonet up the ass.... And Ya, we made an agreement with Iran, along with 4 other countries and the EU, verified by the IEAE but hey, I don't like it and my son-in-law tells me Netanyahu also thinks it shitty, so fuck it. But hey, I'm a great deal maker. let's make an agreement. You give up your nukes and we..... We'll probably fuck you and your shitty country too.

And they say Kim Jong Un is not rational!

cheech_wizard's picture

It's not like I'm going to miss kimchi either...

mtl4's picture

Seems to me that US war is declared by congress, not presidents of other nations.

merizobeach's picture

Moon: "Without South Korea’s consent no one can determine military actions on the Korean peninsula"

Nice try, pinkie-dick.  Why don't you run that line of reasoning past whatever friends Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya might have had.

Oh, and how was it that South Korea came into existence in the first place?  Try this, Moon: sit down and STFU.

keep the bastards honest's picture

Intolerable entitlement and bullying.

As others keep telling twits on site, NK  has saved itself from the fate of Libya, Iraq, Alghanistan and Syria because once it was threatened and on the List it developed armed protection. Terrible  sacrifice, whilst still rebuilding after the US carpet bombed it. Just look at  your roads, hospitals  bridges, old out of date scarey nuclear power stations.. and you have not been carpet bombed or sanctioned. Or lost millions of people wearing sandals in brutal war.

bh2's picture

Any sovereign nation can declare war on any other sovereign nation and conduct operations in any location where it has the power to do so.

If the US were to withdraw from SK, this would very soon become abundantly clear to people in SK. As perhaps we should. If SK agree to "unify" with NK, then let them.

When the blood stops running in the gutters, it will bring a decisive conclusion to the stupid UN insistence that the boundary dividing the nation be preserved at all cost.

The US should just stand back and let it happen. It's not our country. It's not our fight. It's only our perpetual expense and aggravation.

idahobandito's picture

Moon face is correct. We should pull all our troops and assets, including THAAD out and station them on the Mexican border. Fuck Him. He can pay for his own defence and supply his troops.

Justin Case's picture

The US felt able to leave South Korea in 1948 because they had installed the US educated Syngman Rhee as dictator. He ruled as dictators do, killing, jailing or driving into exile tens of thousands of his political opponents.

Rhee was finally overthrown in a popular revolution in 1960. In scenes later to be replicated in Saigon in 1975, he was plucked from his palace by a CIA helicopter who ferried him to safety while the crowds converged on the palace.

Rhee also had ambitions to forcefully bring about the reunification of the two parts of Korea. Thanks to the scholarship revealed in Professor Bruce Cumings’ two volume history of the Korean War we now know that the standard western line about the Korean War starting with an invasion of the South by troops from the North is at best an approximation of the true history of the conflict. The truth is considerably more complicated.

For years preceding the Northern troops crossing the border in July 1950, Rhee had been staging incursions into the north, carrying out killings, sabotage and other forms of asymmetrical warfare. On the island of Cheju-do for example, as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s military forces.

What is scarcely acknowledged in the west was the devastation the Korean War wrought upon the North. The US led UN Command dropped more bombs on the north than the US had dropped in the whole Pacific theatre in World War 2. This included the dropping of 20,000 tonnes of napalm, a particularly gruesome way of killing people. This method was later used to equally horrific effect in Vietnam.

lucitanian's picture

"how was it that South Korea came into existence in the first place?"

By a criminal war, including the use of chemical and biological weapons, the sheet bombing of cities and villages, the destruction of irrigation damns to flood rice fields to deliberately cause starvation, the murder of 4 million civilians, and the total destruction of 75% of the country mostly by the USA.


You see why they might feel some resentment, in the North and the South still today.

merizobeach's picture

"By a criminal war"

Yep, I agree.  I don't have any business with Korea, and I do not support any of the US' warmongering.  My point, though, was that Moon is a fool and a puppet, and his weak little noises are pathetic nonsense.

ejmoosa's picture

I did not realize that the US actually declares wars any longer.

Joiningupthedots's picture

Not when you need permission to use South Korean facilities?

Thom Paine's picture

And I am sure SK would enjoy the USA removing its military from SK.

It would be goodbye SK.

And I don't see China minding NK taking over the whole peninsula all the way to Japan.

Thom Paine's picture

Not when there is already a state of war, continuing.

Occident Mortal's picture

Maybe the Koreans have prepared legal papers for the ninth circuit?

Twox2's picture

Easy fix.

Not our circus, not our monkeys.  Pull the troops, call it a day.  Cancel the mutual defense treaty. Put NK on ignore, save billions and use the savings to help balance the budget or rebuild aging infrastucture.


chubbar's picture

Strangely enough, I think that is the ultimate goal. What I need to see first to be convinced is for China to be the arbiter of a peaceful solution, then you'll know what is coming.

China is trying to cement it's place as leader of the Asian rim by creating the one belt/one road trade initiative. The intentions are to draw in all the Asian countries and link them together with both trade and banking (China/Russia have created mirror images of IMF, SWIFT, Etc., already). They need South Korea, Japan and Phillipines in order to complete the deal. To do this, they need to draw them away from NATO/US influence so they are using a combination of stick and carrot. Not really a "stick" per se but if China can be seen as the stronger, more reliable peacemaker then you'll see Japan and SOK pivoting towards them in an effort to stay out of conflict as well as better trade relations and thus, more trade.

I don't think it's just a coincidence that ISIS suddenly popped up in the Phillipines, and that was after Duerte told the US to fuck off. Now all of a sudden the US is talking airstrikes against ISIS there and Duerte has toned down his anti-US rhetoric. This leads me to believe that serious threats were levied against himself/family or something of that magnitude.

Essentially this game we are watching being played out is for all the marbles. Asia is like 2/3rds of world trade and once that is wrapped up in the one belt/one road trade deal, the US dollar is gone as the international currency used in those trades. This in effect would dethrone the US dollar and I think we all know what comes after that.

China/Russia are playing the long game and trying not to get pulled into conflict with the US even though the US has done just about everything it can to start a war. The outcome is already assured for China if it can stay out of conflict. The US has abused it's relationships and its reserve currency status for decades so it was just a matter of time before the stronger countries executed a plan to displace the dollar from int'l trade.

I just can't tell right now whether this is actually a kabuki dance whereby the US partners are actually in on this deal, in other words they are playing this game out in the open to give the appearance of conflict when all parties have agreed upon the outcome. OR, whether this is real and we really have morons that think the risk of a limited nuclear war is better than western elites losing power through the abandonment of the dollar? Either way, eventually the US will have to pull out of all of its overseas bases and relinquish power when the dollar loses value, just like Britain eventually was forced to do. Interesting times.

Joiningupthedots's picture

Nothing is ever a coincidence when the Amercan Dark State are involved.

Only cause and effect.

exi1ed0ne's picture

It will be a cold day in hell before Japan and China team up.  I can't see that ever happening.  Same with the Philippines.  China wouldn't be building all those artificial islands if there was a diplomatic angle to get the same thing.  That move pissed off just about everyone in the region, and creates real problems for trade and fishing.

Justin Case's picture

At the recent Shangri-La dialogue, Beijing once again detailed its complex strategy in the South China Sea. PLA Major General Yunzhu Yao stressed that freedom of navigation for commercial ships in the South China Sea has not been challenged and would never be challenged. And she hit the heart of the matter; the US has not ratified UNCLOS, so it’s in no position to impose its interpretation of the treaty on any nation, in Asia or beyond.

Compare it to Rahkundini, speaking for ASEAN as a whole: "The United States actually has nothing to do in the South China Sea; moreover it does not ratify the UNCLOS. So it is not appropriate for the United States to meddle or, even worse, demonstrate military might there. The United States has to be wiser and fairer to see the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea."

exi1ed0ne's picture

Countries don't increase their exclusive economic zone with very expensive man made fortifications unless they are intending to protect something.  That something is going to be natural resources like fish, oil, and control over trade routes.  I'll agree the US is in a lot of places we have no business being, but that doesn't mean that China isn't projecting power into the region at the expense of neighboring countries.  Have you even looked at a map of what China is claiming ownership of? 

Justin Case's picture

I'd personally would like to see some Chinese woar ships visit Cuba and sail around the Caribbean. Drop in on Jamaica for a pit stop.

ejmoosa's picture

Does this mean that we hold all of Korea responsible if North Korea attacks the US?

BandGap's picture

Here is why South Korean president Sum Ting Wong might have it wrong.

This "military action" falls under United Nations Security Council Resolution 84 which ended in a cease fire. The resolution was never resolved thus this "military action" is open ended.

North Korean president Meso Phat might have already violated the terms of the cease fire. Forget the missile shit, NK sank a South Korean destroyer last year killing over 140 South Korean sailors. And I think it was two years ago that they shelled an island outpost in the south.

Grow a set South Korea.


halcyon's picture

And that's how they want to keep it. US/CIA lies about NK ICBMs (proven exaggerations) should matter none. 

But war is profit and Trump needs his own war to show the masses how 'statemanlike' he is. 


HRClinton's picture

Apple, US car and household appliance makers want NK to wipe out SK. 

So do Banksters. It's good business.

QQQBall's picture

great! send our troops home and let them go into the private sector and generate tax revenues rather than living off mine. Fuck Korea(s)!

totenkopf88's picture

We only engage in "police actions"- duh. Besides, Drumpf is in the mood to launch a few missiles while enjoying the most beautiful chocolate cake.

charlewar's picture

hussein obama hides under moochelle's dress.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

The headline says "Only South Korea can DECLARE war on North Korea" (emphasis added).

The president of South Korea does know that America has dispensed with the requirement that Congress or the nation actually has to "declare" a war on another nation, right?

The U.S. Constitution is a "living document" that's meaning can evolve over time. And it has. Today, legal scholars and the Supreme Court agree that vis a vis "War" the meaning of the Constitution in the Year of Our Lord 2017 is ...

"The President, if he wants to, can order an attack on any nation he wants to. If these attacks continue and begin to look like a 'war,' this is fine and indeed should be viewed as positive, healthy and necessary. But such acts must be done to protect "freedom," "spread democracy," or to help "the children."

 - U.S. Surpreme Court Decision, authored by Chief Justice Roberts - Libya v. U.S. Government, 2015.



Sean7k's picture

The Constitution is NOT a living document. It is a social contract whereby powers are enumerated: if the power is not stated it does not exist, thus the need for amendments.

Your statement is the reason the Constitution has been neutralized in the ongoing attempt to increase tyranny and control.

NotApplicable's picture

I think you meant to say that "it's a goddamned piece of paper."

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Dear sir,

For clarification purposes, my comment about the "living Constitution" supporting any and all wars at the sole discretion of the Great and Powerful Oz, the United State's Beloved Supreme Leader (aka the President of the United States) was intended to be satire.  I do know that the president just can't attack any nation he wants to for just about any reason. Everyone knows such military attacks - and on-going military operations - must be authorized by a majority vote of Congress.

Sean7k's picture

Actually, the President CAN attack any country, however, the funding for operations require congressional approval, as Congress controls the power of the purse. War itself, must be declared by Congress, however semantics leaves us dancing with the devil...what is war? Usually, a prolonged event with definable objectives. Thus, all incursions after WWII of any duration should have been declared as wars (Korea, Vietnam, Gulf 1&2, Afghanistan). All others are questionable.

The REAL question should cause us to wonder why Americans are required to fund, in money and lives, the policing of the world?

This should lead us to question whom our rulers really are. When we are ready to answer that question, we can return to the path of liberty.

MEFOBILLS's picture

The Constitution is NOT a living document


This is a very important point.  The poeple that call it "living" then see Penumbra's and emanations that don't exist.  The founders intended on ammendments to evolve the constitution to keep in relevant.

The founders also assumed that the people that followed them (their posterity) would be their equals ie. white men of good character, but instead they are not.

Many of the ammendments are crap.  14, 16, 17'th come to mind.  

Stinkytofu's picture

one would assume ANY country can declare war on north korea.....

keep the bastards honest's picture

No wnder Scalia was reviled, as he believed in sticking to the constitution as it  was. Wow ,and  there are the 'children" words Trump used to justify killing Syrians.

Joiningupthedots's picture

Yeah but they never try it with anyone who can give them the fat end of the baseball back in their asses do they?

America post 9/11 has shown itself to be the total bully it has always more no less. The www has given a global audience to the fact, thats all.

Economically the majority of the world is moving on and militarily the other big two dont care what America thinks anymore.

Russia proved it in Syria, Crimea and Georgia

China will prove it sooner or later over the nine dash line.


Han Cholo's picture

Fine by me, bring our troops and their families home.