Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha downplayed the chances of a new conflict on the Korean Peninsula, saying the situation must be solved diplomatically, and attacking is not an option.
Kang appeared to dismiss the risk of a war out of hand, saying that she is “certain” the United States would consult with South Korea before carrying out any unilateral attack on the North, and that they’d consider such an attack “unacceptable.”
Historically, South Korea has viewed itself as having veto power over any US attack on North Korea, though US officials recently have not made clear if they still consider that the case, or if they believe they could sneak attack without a southern imprimatur.
The old view may have been a product of North Korea being seen as almost exclusively a threat to South Korea, while US officials now brand them as a threat to the US mainland instead, which might be used by US hawks to argue that such a war could be prosecuted irrespective of South Korea’s wishes.
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