N. Korea marks military anniversary with firing drill

May 06, 2017, 02:12
N. Korea marks military anniversary with firing drill

South Korea's Navy said it was conducting a live-fire exercise with U.S. Navy destroyers on Tuesday in waters west of the Korean Peninsula and would soon join the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group approaching the region.

A statement from US Naval Forces Korea called the submarine's visit "routine" and said it was a chance to highlight the alliance between American and South Korean navies.

(CNN) - US President Donald Trump called the status quo with nuclear-armed North Korea unacceptable, calling for new sanctions on the country and criticize the country's young leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump yesterday urged UN Security Council ambassadors to consider stronger sanctions against Pyongyang, and USA senators will be briefed on North Korea at the White House tomorrow.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said he and fellow Republican John McCain had dinner with Trump on Monday and discussed North Korea. "People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it's time to solve the problem". A rapid tempo of North Korean weapons testing in the past year has pushed Kim Jong Un's authoritarian nation closer to developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the US mainland.

Nikki Haley, Trump's U.N. ambassador, said the United States is not looking for a fight with Kim and would not attack North Korea "unless he gives us reason to do something".

President Donald Trump has said the U.S. was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula, including submarines.

North Korea was defiant, saying its military was prepared "to bring to closure the history of USA scheming and nuclear blackmail". Speculation has grown that such a test, or another long-range missile launch, could coincide with the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the North's Korean People's Army on Tuesday.

"We need to move more quickly and with greater determination to convince North Korea either to pursue denuclearisation or to apply enough pressure that it stops those activities", Toner told a telephone news briefing.

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While Trump has dispatched what he called an "armada" of ships to the region, including an aircraft carrier, USA officials have told The Associated Press that the administration doesn't intend to militarily respond to a North Korean nuclear or missile test.

Relations between North Korea and the US and South Korea have deteriorated in recent months, as the rhetoric and military posturing on both sides has increased.

South Korea said in a statement Wednesday that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed.

The South's trumpeting of progress on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered USA military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.

Some analysts voiced concerns Trump was backing himself into a corner with his fierce rhetoric on North Korea, leading both countries to a point where "bad things are going to happen". Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.

A guided-missile submarine, it can carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and is able to stealthily deploy up to 66 Navy SEALs or other special operations troops. All that was publicly scheduled for the day were gatherings for mass dancing, a common celebration on major North Korean holidays.

North Korea held an enormous military parade held to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung on April 15. "The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the worldwide community but also our country", the Japanese leader told reporters in Tokyo afterward.

In the end, no nuclear test was held that day, but a performance on the Day of the Sun still showed a propaganda video where missiles struck the United States and a U.S. flag was left in flames.

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