South Korea on heightened alert as isolated North readies for army celebration

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

They are expected to consult each other on joint responses to North Korea, which has test-fired multiple ballistic missiles and shows signs of conducting its sixth nuclear test.

The issue at the core of the situation is North Korea's nuclear and missile programme which has progressed steadily through decades despite threats, pressures and various other actions by the United States and other countries. "The U.S. wanted to get the message out".

Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea that the "sword stands ready" and the USA response should not be tested.

U.S House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said military action must remain an option for the U.S during a visit to London.

"Allowing this dictator to have that kind of power is not something that civilised nations can allow to happen", he said in reference to Kim.

China may be getting fed up with continued nuclear bluster from long-time ally North Korea and tilting toward the United States.

In Russia, a Kremlin spokesman declined to comment on media reports that Russia was moving military hardware and troops toward the border with North Korea, the RIA news agency quoted him as saying.

"Although North Korea attempted a missile launch but failed on April 16, considering the April 25 anniversary of the Korean People's Army, there are concerns that it can make another provocation again at any time", South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn told top officials on Thursday.

"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike", Han said.

South Korea and the United States have also been conducting annual joint military exercises, which the North routinely criticizes as a prelude to invasion.

South Korean presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in is pulling ahead in the polls as a May 9 election looms. For its part, China says the system's powerful radar is a threat to its security.

The North, which is intent on developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States, defied worldwide pressure Sunday with a test that failed immediately after launch.

The United States and Russian Federation clashed at the United Nations on Wednesday over a USA -drafted Security Council statement to condemn North Korea's latest failed ballistic missile test.

"It is a matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well as peaceable settlements of the issue", he said.

A concept paper circulated to council members ahead of the meeting states that North Korea's "pursuit of weapons of mass destruction represents one of the gravest threats to global peace and security the Security Council faces".

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

That also involves updating any analysis on the latest thinking of how North Korea might militarily react if the United States were to take military steps.

Instead, the fleet sailed south into the Indian Ocean for exercises with the Royal Australian Navy, at a time when Kim was parading his military might and tested another missile.

Other reports by VgToday

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