North Korea on "Maximum Alert"

May 16, 2017, 09:12
North Korea on

"Either China will deal with this problem or the USA and our allies will", Pence said.

In a sign of Beijing's hardening attitude, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, said in an editorial on Monday that China could enforce "stricter measures" against North Korea, including a ban on oil exports, or join a US -led effort to block the North's access to worldwide financial markets.

USA vice-president Mike Pence has again hinted at the use of military force to deal with North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons programme, warning that: "all options are on the table".

For days US President Donald Trump has publicly raised hopes that Chinese cooperation, after a successful meeting at Mar-a-Lago, is underway.

Pence arrived in South Korea Monday as part of his 10-day, four-nation Asia tour that will also take him to Tokyo, Jakarta and Sydney in what many view as war moves, accompanied by an aircraft carrier strike group that the United States has sent to the region.

An "all-out war" would be the result of the continuing military tensions with the USA and warned North America about being "reckless enough to use military means". Despite this weekend's missile failure, last month, the country launched four ballistic missiles more than 600 miles.

On April 9 North Korea attempted to launch a new test missile. "If those businessmen in power in the United States thought of intimidating us by any military or sanction threats-as the [Barack] Obama administration used to do and failed-they will soon find out such threats are useless", Sin said.

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Meanwhile, Pence reassured Japanese Prime Minister Shonzo Abe that the United States' support for Japan is 100% amid the increasing provocations from North Korea. "If the United States is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC on Monday.

Mattis credited China with trying to help get the North Korea situation "under control" with the goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula. It also claimed that it has weapons capable of attacking the mainland U.S. Officials and experts, however, claimed that no nation has mastered the necessary technology to follow through with the threat.

North Korea showed off an array of weapons including missiles in a military parade Saturday before an unsuccessful ballistic missile test the following day. It is not clear whether this was a deliberate deception, a change of plan or simple miscommunication, the BBC's Korea correspondent Stephen Evans says.

Pence on Monday had traveled to the tense zone dividing the two Koreas, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the USA and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

Despite these warnings from the U.S., North Korean officials have not shown any signs of stepping back from their nuclear tests.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed concerns about the "tense" situation, calling for calm and efforts to find "opportunities and possibilities for dialogue".

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