"Even if the USA military action takes place outside the peninsula, I am confident that the US will consult with South Korea in advance", he said, repeating his warning during the August 15 Liberation Day address that no countries should take military action on North Korea without South Korea's approval.
The South Korean leader has warned that Pyongyang completing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and weaponizing it with miniaturized nuclear weapon is "nearing" a red line.
Dunford agreed that the recent series of missile provocation by North Korea led to grave security situations on the peninsula, saying no change was made in the USA commitment to the defence of South Korea.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in must be a severe disappointment to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Then there is the belief that "maximum pressure" by the United States, China, and others will bring North Korea to the negotiating table, where it will be willing to trade away or at least freeze its nuclear and missile programs.
Kim Jong-un, earlier this week, made a decision to put the missile attack plans on hold "in order to defuse the tensions" with the USA, adding he wanted to watch how the U.S. behaves a little more before launching the offensive.
"I will prevent war at all cost", President Moon Jae-in said, as cited by AFP.
Relations between the two were "an absolute fail", it added, saying that while Moon spoke of dialogue and implementing North-South agreements, his actions moved in the opposite direction. "[Moon] clamored "dialogue" and "implementation of the South-North declaration" in words but the action was the total opposite".
What made Kim back away from the attack plan seems to be tough USA warnings of war and the collapse of his regime, not dialogue offers from the South. Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Monday it would be "game on" for war if North Korea fired missiles that hit the U.S. or its territories.
Some of Moon's advisers, moreover, are showing a desire for still more independence from American constraints by suggesting South Korea begin developing its own nuclear warheads - a prospect that would surely lead to a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia. "It is very worrisome for the president of the United States to fill the crisis". Asked about potential unilateral US action, he said "that's purely speculative and a decision to do that would be by the president".
In my view, it's less about the actual ability of North Korea to hit the continental United States with a nuclear weapon.
President Moon was said to "advocate the enhancement of the alliance with the U.S." even more than his conservative predecessors Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.
If North Korea stops its provocation and shows willingness to talk, Seoul could send a presidential envoy to Pyongyang, he said.
Ambassador Moon is one of the leading advocates of South Korea's "sunshine policy", which favors dialogue with North Korea and peaceful co-existence alongside its regime.
"This is the rash behavior that directly shows the resistance and hostility toward us without understanding the nature of the present situation", the Rodong Sinmun said. It marked the first time that South Korea's president clarified what the red line means.
It is rare for South Korean presidents to publicly touch on the issue of forced labor, which has not been raised in recent years. The South, where over 28,000 U.S. troops are now stationed, has its own stance on the crisis.