Saturday, 18 August, 2018

US, South Korea, Japan urge North Korea to cease 'irresponsible' provocations

North Korea USA India GETTYKim Jong-un has refused to bow to international pressure and cancel his nuclear programme
Melinda Barton | 30 October, 2017, 12:06

Senior defence officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan have urged North Korea to walk away from its "destructive and reckless path" of weapons development, according to a U.S. military statement. Trump has threatened the DPRK with "fire and fury" and expressed confidence that the leader "will not last long".

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un watches the test of a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missle (ICBM) at a test site at Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Pyongan province in North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 9, 2016. South Korea, the United States and Japan would all respond with measures to deter and defend against North Korea.

North Korea has accused Japan of playing up Pyongyang's alleged nuclear threat ahead of the election in Japan earlier this month.

The controversial former diplomat-whose critics charge with aiding and abetting military regimes in Latin America during his time as part of the Nixon Administration-said that a nuclear-armed North Korea is about to kickstart an arms race in which "nuclear weapons" will "spread in the rest of Asia".

"President Trump has done the right thing by sending a clear message that North Korea's nuclear weapon program is an important issue, that China should not ignore the North Korean issue and needs to work with us to resolve it, and that we need to pressure the North to achieve denuclearization", he said.

During his three-day visit, besides holding talks with Abe, Trump is scheduled to meet with families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

Some analysts maintain that the road to negotiations "could be strengthened and accelerated if both North Korea and China believe that a U.S. military strike" is "becoming more likely", CRS added.

The CRS report also explored the possibility that a war between the U.S. and North Korea would quickly turn into a wider conflagration.

The defense secretary also said the USA will not accept the North as a nuclear power.

The objective of the drills has not been revealed by Korean state-run media.

Preemptive US strikes "could risk a major rupture in its relationship with China", which is the top United State trading partner and holds as much as $1.15 trillion in US bonds as of June, CRS added.

In addition to the horrific human toll of dead and wounded war on the Korean Peninsula, CRS said, a war "could lead to massive flow of refugees into northeastern China, where large numbers of ethnic Koreans reside".