Air China resumes booking flights to North Korea

Apr 27, 2017, 02:00

If North Korea believes Trump is serious about putting a military option on the table, that looming threat could push Kim to the negotiating table as it did his grandfather, former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

USS Fitzgerald homeport during its deployment is the Yokosuka naval base (southeast of Tokyo), while the Chokai is based at the Sasebo naval base, in the Nagasaki prefecture (southeast Japan).

Kim Jong Un supervised what North Korea says was its largest-ever live-fire military drill on Tuesday, in military exercises staged to mark the 85th foundation anniversary of the Korean People's Army (KPA), the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Wednesday.

The US has also sent a nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Michigan, to the peninsula where it will conduct drills with the USS Carlson.

North Korea's official media said early Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Un personally observed the exercises.

With every nuclear or missile test, North Korea gets closer to its stated goal of developing a nuclear weapon that can be mounted on a missile capable of reaching the United States. "But we will take strong punitive action that the North could not bear if it pushes ahead with one despite the warning".

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"North Korea appeared to show off its military capabilities by mobilizing (its assets) including fighter jets and submarines", Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman at Seoul's unification ministry, told a regular press briefing.

Mr Trump has intimated he is willing to ramp up United States military pressure on North Korea while simultaneously encouraging China to use its influence on its ally, while rejecting bilateral diplomacy with Pyongyang.

At the same time, the United States has ordered an aircraft carrier strike group to the western Pacific, near North Korea.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tillerson and the other officials would talk about the USA posture and activities, and that Dunford "will lay out some of the military actions" and the Pentagon's view of the situation. Left unsaid by Graham was that a war today could be disastrous for US allies Japan and South Korea. First, due to generations of mass brainwashing, the North Korean leader commands fanatical loyalty from the overwhelming majority of his populace, as demonstrated by the public adulation displayed during the recent military parade on the Day of the Sun anniversary of his grandfather's birth.

The U.S. military started moving parts of the controversial THAAD anti-missile defence system to a deployment site in South Korea on Wednesday amid high tensions over North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

The destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyers is conducting bilateral maritime exercises with a South Korean destroyer in waters west of the Korean Peninsula Tuesday and Wednesday, while the destroyer USS Fitzgerald is partnering with a Japanese destroyer in waters west of Japan, according to the USA 7th Fleet. The briefing will be held by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford.

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But the system's installation is also upsetting China, the country Trump hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons.

Along with sending USA military assets to the region in a show of force, President Donald Trump is leaning on China to exert economic pressure on North Korea.

On the U.S. side, President Trump and his administration say that "all options are on the table", including military action. North Korea has detonated five nuclear devices since 2006 and test-fired several missiles this year. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its ally, and Russian Federation see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

China has been urging restraint by both Pyongyang and Washington.

Residents in the Seongju area, where the battery will be deployed, have also been protesting, anxious that the system's presence will make them a target for North Korea's missiles. According to the Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and a radar.

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