South Korean officials are expressing growing disquiet about the repeated US insistence that “all options” are on the table with respect to North Korea. Visiting Washington D.C., Choo Mi-ae from the South Korean ruling party sought to make clear that war is not on the table.
Choo said that the US should “under no circumstances” believe that it can go ahead and attack North Korea without the consent of South Korea, and that the goal must be a peaceful resolution in any way possible.
This is something several South Korean officials have pointed out in recent months, amid all the talk of a unilateral US attack. It’s unsurprising, too, because North Korean retaliation would be overwhelmingly against South Korea, and would likely kill millions.
Historically this has been treated as a South Korean veto on US attacks because those threats are nominally presented as being done in defense of the south. With US officials increasingly emphasizing North Korea as a direct threat to the US, however, it’s not clear US officials necessarily believe South Korea still has a say in such a conflict.