"Neither Washington nor Pyongyang really wants war, but a war could break out anyway as they do not have the experience of putting such an extreme game under control."
The official said that President Moon Jae-in is going over the ramifications of a possible South Korean intervention in the verbal exchange between Washington and Pyongyang.
The newspaper stated, Beijing should make it clear that "if North Korea launches missiles that threaten USA soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral".
US President Donald Trump said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continues threats against the US territory. After Trump hinted at the possibility of using nuclear weapons on August 9 and US Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a warning of his own, the Strategic Forces seem to be cranking up the intensity of their threat. A statement by the spokesperson of the Strategic Forces the previous day went a step further by having the commander personally deliver a specific warning. "Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will find another path!"
Pyongyang revealed a detailed plan to launch missiles against the U.S. Pacific air base on Guam would be completed soon. "North Korea aims to propel the United States to negotiate with it, while the U.S. wants to put North Korea in check".
2002 - South and North Korea hold their seventh round of ministerial talks in Seoul. "The Secretary-General remains extremely concerned by the ongoing situation [on the Korean Peninsula] and is troubled by the increase in confrontational rhetoric [between North Korea and the US]", said Stéphane Dujarric, UN spokesperson, on August 9. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave the country's army permission to attack Guam and Hawaii, but did not follow through on them at the time. It is politicians - not the military - who decide on whether or not to use such plans... These exercises, which are held every year, simulate North Korea launching a surprise attack on the South.
North Korea has responded with more chilling threats. "During the April crisis, North Korea never made a response".
Siegfried S Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who has visited North Korea and toured its nuclear facilities, agrees. "The government needs to emphasize that these are regular defensive exercises". More fundamental solutions are also being proposed. "(The Moon administration) has to take the wheel", he said, adding that Seoul should do so to avoid being sidelined by other key players involved in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
Trump's aggressive rhetoric against the North has been fueling worries within the US Congress and prompted a phone call between South Korea and US national security leaders.