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Korea tensions ease slightly as U.S. officials play down war risks

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – Tension on the Korean peninsula eased slightly on Monday as South Korea’s president said resolving North Korea’s nuclear ambitions must be done peacefully and U.S. officials played down the risk of an imminent war.

Concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon has underpinned a spike in tension in recent months.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned at the weekend that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” if North Korea acted unwisely after threatening last week to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

“There must be no more war on the Korean peninsula. Whatever ups and downs we face, the North Korean nuclear situation must be resolved peacefully,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a regular meeting with senior aides and advisers.

“I am certain the United States will respond to the current situation calmly and responsibly in a stance that is equal to ours,” he said.

 

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