Presidential Spokesman Park Soo-hyun said Moon made the call toward Pyongyang during a meeting with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford at the presidential office on Monday.
"The problem is that Kim Jong Un is nothing like his father", said Nam Seong-wook, professor of North Korea Studies at Korea University in Seoul.
He said the United States forces' priority was to support its government's diplomatic and economic pressure efforts for the denuclearised peninsula, noting that military options were being prepared for the failed efforts.
Talks on North Korea's nuclear program collapsed in 2009, and Kim has accelerated his efforts to obtain the ability to strike the US with a nuclear weapon.
"The military dimension today is directly in support of that diplomatic and economic effort", Gen. Dunford told reporters in Seoul. The trip has been long scheduled and was not arranged in response to the North Korean nuclear threat.
Some analysts expect further escalation in the coming days as both North and South Korea celebrate the August 15 anniversary of the end of Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula, and the latter conducts joint military exercises with the U.S. from August 21. "Our job is to make sure our leadership has an option available to them". China announced today that it would implement an import ban tomorrow on North Korean iron ore, lead and coal as part of the sanctions.
"I believe there are two things we are clear about: one, our responsibility to defend against attack, two, our requirement to make sure we have a decisive response in the event of attack".
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"But as tensions have spiked with the North's threat against the United States, it has become really hard for Moon to make such overtures". "We are seeking peaceful resolution to the crisis right now".
"So unless those North Korean missiles were to fall short, the Patriots shouldn't have a function to serve in this particular case", he said. "We listen very carefully to Kim Jong Un's rhetoric and we can't afford to be complacent".
Seoul, a vibrant metropolitan area of some 25 million people, lies within range of North Korea's conventional artillery stationed just 30 miles to the North. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including more than 28,000 US troops, also live in South Korea.
He said the South Korea-U.S. alliance was an alliance to maintain peace, adding that peace would not be brought to the peninsula by exercising military might. The US has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea. Combined Forces Command and the head of Korea's national security council, will also attend, said the official, who asked not to be identified. "They may continue launching missile tests but they don't want a war, and the United States doesn't want military action either". Pyongyang has claimed that the exercise is a rehearsal for an invasion.
On Sunday, US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said he did not think the sides were closer to war than a week ago, while CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he saw no intelligence to suggest the sides were on the cusp of a nuclear war.
In an apparent warning to Pyongyang against military action that can be taken as a direct threat to the United States, an editorial in the Global Times called on the Chinese leadership to "make clear" that if it is Pyongyang who fires off missiles that "threaten USA soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral". "These threats are serious to us, and thus we have to be prepared".