Saturday, 21 July, 2018

North Korea 'will test missiles weekly', senior official tells BBC

Melinda Barton | 19 April, 2017, 07:14

As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attempted another missile test during this weekend's Day of the Sun military celebration, Vice President Mike Pence warned Pyongyang Monday not to test US resolve during a trip to South Korea.

The unannounced visit Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia was a USA show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

Each time, the visits have prompted North Korean soldiers to snap photographs of the visiting Americans - something that is thought to be an effort not only to document the events, but also to intimidate the USA officials.

2015: Former President Obama stepped up USA cyber attacks on North Korea's missile programs.

For the past quarter century, the United States and South Korea have tried to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", he declared.

"President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change".

2016: North Korea held its 4th and 5th nuclear tests, and conducted more than 14 rounds of ballistic-missile tests - nearly all of which failed - and fired 30 different rockets, Business Insider counted up.

Russian Federation also reacted to Pence's comments on the Koreas' border, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling reporters in Moscow: "I hope very much that there will not be any unilateral steps as we did in Syria". "Last decade, when China's financial institutions were named as potential money laundering concerns by the U.S. Treasury, China halted fuel shipments to [North Korea] in order to get them to return to multilateral talks", Stephen Yates, former deputy assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs and D.C. Intel Advisory CEO, told FOX Business.

Later Monday, Pence reiterated in a joint statement alongside South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn that "all options are on the table" to deal with threat and said any use of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang would be met with "an overwhelming and effective response". He said the American commitment to South Korea is "iron-clad and immutable".

North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC that an "all out war" could result if the U.S. took military action. The other called for a freeze on U.S. -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ. "The Chinese will be in a better position to make a deal with him if they were to help reduce the threat posed by North Korea under its present leadership". "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless". "Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably". North Korea already possesses the ability to hit Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons and will soon have the ability to hit the continental United States with one.