US Thaad missile defence equipment enters South Korea site: Yonhap

Dora Pope
April 27, 2017

The latest bilateral maritime exercises come as North Korea conducted large-scale, live-fire drills Tuesday numbering 300 to 400 pieces of artillery near the eastern port city of Wonsan, South Korea's military said.

The US military yesterday started moving parts of its controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to a deployment site in South Korea amid high tensions over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would be sending the USS Vinson, an aircraft carrier, to the Korean Peninsula, after U.S. officials said they anticipated a fresh round of nuclear tests and missile launches.

"(North Korea) believes the only way to deter the U.S. from attacking them, and maintaining the power of the Kim regime, is by the possession of nuclear weapons", said Joe Bermudez, an analyst with 38 North, a North Korean monitoring group.

North Korea's drills coincided with military exercises held by US and South Korean navies in the Yellow Sea, off the western coast of the Korean Peninsula.

On Monday, Trump called for tougher United Nations sanctions on the North, saying it was a global threat and "a problem that we have to finally solve". North Korea's a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve.

On the same day the USA nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived in the South, KCNA said elite Artillery Forces, the Navy and the Air and Anti-Air Force of the KPA participated in drills described as "a combined fire demonstration of the services of the KPA".

An administration official said Trump attended only the first five minutes of the meeting.

According to reports, North Korea has identified Darwin, Australia, as a target for nuclear war, as us troops have been assembling in the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tillerson and the other officials would talk about the US posture and activities, and that Dunford "will lay out some of the military actions" and the Pentagon's view of the situation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged "restraint" on North Korea in a telephone call with President Trump on Monday.

Several students, 12 policemen injured in renewed clashes in Srinagar
Students begun pelting stones on police and in retaliation forces fired teargas and sound shells to quell the protesting students. The violence broke out as colleges in the city reopened following clashes last week between students and government forces.

Along with sending United States military assets to the region in a show of force, President Donald Trump is leaning on China to exert economic pressure on its wayward ally.

"Both South Korea and the United States have been working to secure the operational capacity of the THAAD system in preparation for North Korea's advanced nuclear-missile threat", the statement said.

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 United States has speculated that North Korea could carry out another nuclear or missile test timed to Tuesday's celebration.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China urged the US and South Korea to withdraw the system.

"North Korea vigorously pursued a strategic strike capability in 2016", Harris said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from The White House, said a whole range of options were discussed including using a leverage by China, North Korea's main trade partner. But the unpredictable communist nation rattled its saber all the same, with drills that served as a reminder of the threat it poses below the border to US -allied South Korea.

Kim said they discussed ways to get more cooperation from China and Russian Federation, which they agreed is crucial to applying effective pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Wednesday's briefings will focus on three key issues related to North Korea's nuclear program: intelligence about the North's capabilities; USA response options, including military ones; and how to get China and other countries to enforce existing economic sanctions on Pyongyang, along with ideas for new penalties.

Japan's Foreign Ministry also announced that China's envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, is arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi, which may take place later this week. He said they also recognized China's recent steps toward that goal.

Other reports by My Hot News

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