The Washington Post reports: South Korea’s president tried late Sunday to dismiss talk of a dispute between Seoul and Washington over how to deal with North Korea following its sixth nuclear test, after President Trump criticized the South Korean approach as “appeasement.”
Moon Jae-in’s office said that his government would continue to work towards peaceful denuclearization after tweets and actions from Trump that have left South Koreans scratching their heads at why the American president is attacking an ally at such a sensitive time.
As if to underline Seoul’s willingness to be tough, the South Korean military conducted bombing drills at dawn Monday, practicing ballistic missile strikes on the North Korean nuclear test site at Punggye-ri.
The South Korean military calculated the distance to the site and practiced having F-15 jet fighters accurately hit the target, the joint chiefs of staff said Monday morning.
“This drill was conducted to send a strong warning to North Korea for its sixth nuclear test,” it said.
After North Korea conducted its nuclear test Sunday, Trump tweeted: “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”
Trump did not talk to Moon on the phone Sunday — in stark contrast to the two calls he had with Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan and a leader who has proven much more willing to agree with his American counterpart. This will worsen anxieties in Seoul that Tokyo is seen as “the favorite ally,” analysts said. [Continue reading…]