Paul: U.S. Needs China to Exert More Pressure on North Korea
16 May, 2017, 09:07 | Author: Paula Vaughn
At the UN headquarters Monday, North Korea's Deputy Ambassador to the UN Kim In-ryong told a news conference, "If the US dares opt for military action", the North is "ready to react to any mode of war desired by the USA", according to AP.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese leaders began talks Tuesday expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region, though tensions with North Korea loomed large.
President Trump denied he's softened his position on China to gain its help in curbing North Korea's increasing military provocations.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have sharply spiked in recent weeks as Washington and Pyongyang have rattled their sabers against each other, with the USA sending a massive aircraft carrier strike group to waters off the Korean Peninsula and the North responding with a missile launch attempt, even though it ended in failure.
In response, the general staff of the North Korean armed forces threatened to launch a strike against USA military bases in Japan and South Korea, as well as the presidential residence in Seoul in case of U.S. aggression.
On April 9 North Korea attempted to launch a new test missile.
"If we notice any sign of assault on our sovereignty, our army will launch merciless military strikes against the U.S. aggressors, wherever they may exist, from the remote United States lands to the American military bases on the Korean Peninsula, such as those of Japan and elsewhere", Ryol said.
After meeting with Abe, Pence held talks with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on a new US-Japan "economic dialogue" to be led by the two.
Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump's administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. "We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", he said.
The comments were made alongside South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday after a visit to the "Demilitarized Zone" located between the north and the south where 28,500 United States troops are stationed.
North Korea's latest missile test on Sunday failed a few seconds after launch.
North Korea showed off an array of weapons including missiles in a military parade Saturday before an unsuccessful ballistic missile test the following day.
The DPRK's state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying, "We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the U.S. reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force".
Washington and Tokyo want to see "concrete results in the near term" regarding improvements in bilateral trade, the two countries said on Tuesday.
But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
On April 14, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment" and warned there would be "no winner" in any war.
"We would like to seek the best shape and forum for our bilateral relationship", Pence said.
Despite these warnings from the U.S., North Korean officials have not shown any signs of stepping back from their nuclear tests.
The UN agency says the first case occurred April 22 in a male some 870 miles (1,400 kilometres) from the capital, Kinshasa. The disease had ravaged Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and was only recently contained in these countries.
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