The comments by Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford in a series of meetings with senior South Korean military and political officials and the local media appeared to be an attempt to ease anxiety over tit-for-tat threats between Trump and North Korea while also showing a willingness to back up Trump's warnings if need be.
The adviser's quip about Trump's confused North Korea policy comes as Moon has reasserted South Korea's leadership role by requesting more U.S. missile defenses and reaffirming his sovereignty. Trump said the North will be met by "fire and fury" should it continue to make threats against the United States, later adding his country's military options are now "locked and loaded".
KCNA reported August 15 that Kim would wait "a little more" before carrying through with a threat to fire four missiles over Japan into waters near Guam, home to a key USA military base in the Pacific.
Russian Federation said it is against further tightening sanctions on North Korea, warning that economic pressure on Pyongyang has reached its limit.
Yet, no one really knows how much oil China is selling to North Korea, because there's no official statistics, and there are several illicit channels via which Kim's regime is procuring oil for the army.
Another irritation for President Moon is that the USA still calls the shots if hostilities break out, a legacy of the Korean War from the 1950s.
"General Dunford delivered a clear message that North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs threaten the entire global community, including China, Russia, the United States and our allies", said U.S. military spokesman Capt Darryn James in a statement. The saber-rattling continued this week as U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Monday that the U.S. would start war if Pyongyang directly fires at the American territory.
"I think they would have to do quite a bit more", Nauert said. "Regardless of whatever twist and turns we could experience, the North Korean nuclear program should absolutely be solved peacefully, and the [South Korean] government and the USA government don't have a different position on this".More news: Drug overdose deaths among adolescents highest for opioids — CDC
More news: Google Improves Collab Tools in Sheets, Slides, and Docs
More news: Kylie Jenner's Self-Tanner Fail Is All of Us
President Moon, a former human-rights lawyer whose parents left North Korea during the Korean War, took power in May after nine years of conservative rule that ended in an impeachment trial for the ex-president amidst a sprawling corruption scandal.
Now the U.S.is said to be ready to target oil trade in North Korea in its latest push with the United Nations to further step up sanctions.
"The No. 1 thing you hear Secretary Tillerson talk about is goals and efforts to try to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, getting Kim Jong Un to give up those illegal weapons, getting him to stop with his destabilizing activities", she told reporters at the State Department.
Dunford said it was important that Chinese and USA defense officials had a conversation about what might happen in the event of military action.
China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has repeatedly urged Pyongyang to halt its weapons programme and at the same time urged South Korea and the United States to stop military drills in order to lower tensions.
"However, I am saying any military action to be taken on the Korean Peninsula requires South Korea's consent unless it is taken outside the peninsula".
However, the current sanctions are not targeting the most vital commodity for North Korea's military: Oil.