Reports of N.Korea artillery drill as U.S. submarine docks in South

Candice Alexander
April 25, 2017

North Korea's military staged a "large-scale artillery drill" around the Wonsan region in the country's east on Tuesday, a statement from the South Korean military said.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, isn't ruling out a US strike against North Korea if Pyongyang tests another nuclear missile.

In a separate statement, the South Korean President's Office said a meeting had been held to discuss the situation.

But the noisy military display, to mark the 85th anniversary of the army, stopped short of the feared nuclear weapons test or intercontinental missile launch that would have unleashed a fierce global reaction.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un did not attend.

DPRK Today, another government website, claimed North Korea had an "invisible" nuclear submarine missile, and the weaponry to turn U.S. aircraft carriers, bombers and submarines into scrap iron.

"It's been all about pressure and brinksmanship and military tools and tactics and chess something, and now to literally, directly taunt the leader of North Korea is like poking the hornet's nest yet again", said Paul Carroll, program director at the Ploughshares Fund, a group working to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan in what was described as a routine visit to rest the crew and load supplies.

South Korea's military says it's maintaining "firm readiness".

North Korea launched two missile tests this month while Trump and his senior aides have warned that "all options are on the table" against Pyongyang, including military action.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula was high on the anniversary, with US and South Korean missile destroyers also due to hold a live-fire exercise in the western sea on the North Korean border.

The trio also agreed that China and Russian Federation should play a bigger role in reining in the North, said Kim Hong-Kyun, South Korea's chief envoy on the issue.

A meeting of the nuclear envoys of the US, South Korea and Japan in Tokyo resolved the three countries would "take strong punitive action that the North could not bear" if North Korea pushed ahead with another provocative action.

"We believe China has a very, very important role to play", said the United States envoy for North Korea policy, Joseph Yun.

The Chinese foreign ministry has previously said any sanctions taken against North Korea must be approved through the UN Security Council, and it opposed unilateral sanctions. He praised China for its recent steps seen more cooperative toward that goal.

"The stakes are much higher - the United States believes that it is facing a critical juncture where North Korea is about to obtain a nuclear capability against the United States homeland", Zhao said.

South Korean newspapers are questioning whether President Donald Trump is tuning out South Korea as he shapes his North Korea strategy. The submarine arrived on the same day North Korea celebrates the anniversary of the founding of its military.

Envoys from Japan, the US and South Korea have gathered in Tokyo to discuss North Korea amid concern it may carry out another nuclear or missile test.

Other reports by VgToday

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