Monday, 10 December, 2018

Haley won't rule out strike vs North Korea for nuke testing

Haley won't rule out strike vs North Korea for nuke testing Haley won't rule out strike vs North Korea for nuke testing
Ellis Copeland | 25 April, 2017, 13:04

Nuclear-armed North Korea on Tuesday marked a military anniversary with a conventional firing drill, reports said, as the South announced joint naval exercises with a USA aircraft carrier in the flashpoint region.

This picture on April 24, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 25 shows a national meeting at the People's Palace of Culture in celebration of the 85th founding anniversary of the heroic Korean People's Army (KPA).

"North Korea is conducting a large-scale firing drill in Wonsan areas this afternoon", the South's Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

North Korea often marks significant dates with show of military capability, and South Korean officials have said the North could be preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests around the anniversary.

South Korea's Unification Ministry and its intelligence agency both said they were unable to confirm the report.

The drills coincided with military exercises held by US and South Korean navies in the Yellow Sea, off the western coast of the Korean Peninsula and as the USS Michigan, one of US's most powerful submarines, arrived in South Korea.

For the second time in two weeks, the US says that an aircraft carrier strike group is heading north into the western Pacific.

North Korea's state media was defiant in a commentary marking the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army, saying its military was prepared "to bring to closure the history of USA scheming and nuclear blackmail". The statement included a call for dialogue and significantly was supported by China, North Korea's closest ally.

"The stakes are much higher - the United States believes that it is facing a critical juncture where North Korea is about to obtain a nuclear capability against the United States homeland", Zhao said.

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Although vague about what course of action Washington might pursue in Kim's case, Haley said it is looking to China to maintain pressure on North Korea.

Yun says China especially has "a very, very important role" to play.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshide Suga told media that China's envoy for Korean affairs, Wu Dawei, would hold talks with Japanese Foreign Ministry officials.

Trump skipped calling Seoul during his phone conversations with his counterparts in Beijing and Tokyo on Sunday over the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles program.

"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not", Trump said Monday at a lunch for ambassadors of countries who sit on the Security Council.

More provocations may come as the North celebrates the founding of the military.

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan in what was described as a routine visit to rest the crew and load supplies.

The morning came and went without any nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches and all that is publicly scheduled for the day are gatherings for mass dancing, a common celebratory feature of major North Korean holidays.

The key Chinese border port of Quanhe, which typically rumbles with several hundred trucks carrying goods between China and North Korea's Special Economic Zone, was shut on Tuesday, but expected to reopen a day later.

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