Korea into dismantling missile programs through sanctions, diplomatic measures

Ellen Mills
April 28, 2017

The Donald Trump administration is seeking to step up sanctions and pressure as its key drivers to tackle North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, while engaging the regime through diplomacy, top United States officials said Wednesday.

Aides, quoted by Reuters, say the House of Representatives is seeking a similar briefing on North Korea. "This is a real threat to the world".

Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry called U.S. attempts to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons through military threats and sanctions "a wild dream" and like "sweeping the sea with a broom".

China objects to North Korea's weapons development and has called for a return to worldwide negotiations, but United States officials have said Washington sees no value in talks until Pyongyang shows it is serious about denuclearization.

In an unusual move, all 100 senators were invited to attend a classified meeting later Wednesday at the White House to discuss the North Korea and its growing bellicosity. "Upon assuming office, President Trump ordered a thorough review of USA policy pertaining to the North Korea", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a joint statement.

Voice of America reported there were "concerns the communist state will celebrate the holiday with a nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile". Today marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military, and North Korea tried - and failed - to launch a missile on April 15 to commemorate the birthday of founder Kim il-Sung. The vessel was actually sailing in the opposite direction, but the USA claims prompted North Korea to vow retribution nonetheless.

While the saber-rattlers keep up their pretenses and rhetoric, Beijing has taken a more diplomatic approach to North Korea, with a tone that warns strongly against violence in the region.

However, Kim Jong Un's government has remained defiant. "The same can be said of the USA", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in the statement.

Trump was on the phone yesterday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The military build-up on both sides comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and warnings from the Trump administration that "all options are on the table" for dealing with the regime in Pyongyang.

Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest is speaking for the first time about how his successor Sean Spicer is doing. "Obviously an assessment of what could be the greatest threat that we've faced since the Cuban Missile Crisis - I think its very helpful to hear from the president of the United States". "But it is a very positive sign, the level of engagement that China has been ... has enacted".

On Tuesday, a United States submarine - the USS Michigan - joined a group of warships in the Korean peninsula led by aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson.

"North Korea will never stop their ambitions to deliver a nuclear weapon to USA until the cost of doing so is greater than the benefit".

The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) confirmed the detention of Kim Sang-duk, who had been teaching accounting at the privately-funded school started by evangelical Christians.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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