North Korean attack could escalate to war

Camille Francis
August 18, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) gives orders during a visit to the Strategic Rocket Forces headquarters in this picture released by the official [North] Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday.

"He said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely risky reckless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the latter will make an important decision as it already declared", the KCNA release read.

In what is seen as an effort to pressure China to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, US President Donald Trump signed an executive action that asks his trade office to explore a possible investigation into China for the alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property.

North Korea's military said last week that it would finalize the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang.

He added South Korea would block war by all means.

"There is a growing recognition inside the Moon Jae-in government that South Korea's independent capability to dictate the US security conditions on the Korean Peninsula is severely limited", said the Yonsei University analyst Bong Young-shik.

Guam - a US territory roughly 2,000 miles from the Korean Peninsula that's home to about 160,000 people and two major USA military installations - has been in the communist nation's crosshairs since last week. Analysts said that a wide swath of the continental United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, could be within reach of those missiles, once they're perfected.

Kim's rhetoric on Monday came shortly after Secretary of Defense James Mattis harshly warned North Korea of considering any sort of aggression against the U.S.

North Korea also is angry about new United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development. The top US general reiterated that in talks in Beijing this week.

Trump's top national security advisor fundamentally believing that North Korea can not be deterred has massive policy implications.

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The North accused the United States of mobilising a huge number of weapons and troops for annual military drills with South Korea that begin later this month.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favours diplomacy, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program.

The report, originally in the Washington Post, was the catalyst for Trump's "fire and fury" rhetoric, which threatened retaliation on Pyongyang should they not cease making threats against the US.

"If China wishes to play a more active role in securing regional peace and stability - from which all of us, especially China, derive such great benefit - it must make the decision to exercise its decisive diplomatic and economic leverage over North Korea", the USA officials wrote.

In recent months, China has joined with Russian Federation in calling for the suspend annual military drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests as a first step toward direct talks.

He later added that the USA military is "locked and loaded" to respond to its provocations.

The US and South Korea have confirmed the drills will go ahead as planned.

More important, however, is China's recent statement that it will not back North Korea if the country provokes a war with the United States.

Mr Kim is shown sitting with other generals including Kim Jong Sik, a veteran rocket scientist behind North Korea's missile programme, in a war room where other maps of operational zones in South Korea and Japan are hanging on a wall. And, regardless of what Kim does or doesn't do, will the tough-talking Trump feel compelled to take matters into his own hands? It launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, for example, on July 4 - Independence Day in the United States.

A foreign ministry spokesman for the North on Tuesday denied the country is now discussing the detainees with Washington.

Other reports by My Hot News

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