With eye on North Korea, China puts bombers on 'high alert'

Owen Stevens
April 21, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Chinese efforts to rein in "the menace of North Korea", after North Korean state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty preemptive strike".

In a bid to stall the U.S.'s efforts to stop North Korea from conducting further nuclear tests, Russian Federation has objected to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) statement proposed by the U.S., Wednesday, that would have condemned North Korea's missile tests, despite China's support of the measure, reports said.

North Korea has a long history of portraying mock violence against the United States in propaganda videos.

Mr McMaster's comment is "not abnormal", Bruce Bennett, a Senior International/Defense Researcher at the RAND Corporation, told The Independent.

Previous administrations have taken that stance on numerous occasions. The non-binding statement was significant in part due to support by China, North Korea's closest ally. The decision to divert the strike group Carl Vinson to waters near the Korean peninsula was intended as a show of force, a US official told Reuters afterwards.

Haley's comments followed President Donald Trump's recent statement that the USA wants peace - and that how much North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un also wants peace will be a deciding factor in easing tensions between the two countries. "It can cause North Korea to revisit prior assumptions and to kind of rethink the situation, but it's unclear yet whether that's going to have a sufficient effect to actually bring this to a good conclusion". One propaganda film past year featured animation of a North Korean, nuclear-tipped ICBM striking New York City.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked. It has much "more retaliatory capability" than it has in the past, according to Mr Bennett.

South Korean presidential candidates clashed on Wednesday night in a TV debate over the planned US-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which has angered China.

USA options are limited as a result of Seoul's location as well.

North Korea marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday, an important anniversary that comes at the end of major winter military drills, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng said. North Korea does not have many friends in the world, but China is one. "South Korea will suffer, not the U.S. But that will also cause damage to U.S. troops based in South Korea and to many American citizens living in South Korea", says Moon. However, they are also angry at Mr Kim for testing the weapons. One official said the heightened alert could indicate contingency plans to react to a situation with North Korea, while another official said it is possible that China could be preparing for a military exercise.

Other reports by VgToday

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