June 23, 2017

Carrier group heads for Korean waters as Trump calls leaders

04 May 2017, 11:25 | Clarence Schmidt

The official warning comes as North Korea further isolates itself from Japan and South Korea, with diplomatic relations with Donald Trump's White House seeing sabre rattling in the Sea of Japan. President Trump has called on President Xi to press the North Korean regime into stopping their nuclear testing and threatened that could they not provide that result, the USA would do it themselves.

Japan's foreign ministry also announced that China's envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, will visit Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi, which may take place later this week.

Japanese officials have informed citizens that they will receive only a 10-minute warning in the event of a North Korean missile attack.

South Korea's Defense Ministry has said North Korea appears ready to conduct such "strategic provocations" at any time.

A mission press statement on Wednesday said North Korea will "surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the United States imperialists".

The senior U.S. Navy officer overseeing military operations in the Pacific says the crisis with North Korea is at the worst point he's ever seen. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke to Trump on Monday, is urging restraint from both Pyongyang and Washington.

Meanwhile, North Korea's state run mouthpiece, the newspaper Rodong Sinmun, said yesterday there would be dire consequences from a US-led pre-emptive strike.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that China had asked North Korea not to conduct any more nuclear tests.

Six dead as storms batter Texas, Arkansas and Missouri
Millions have been under flash flood watches and warnings as the storm moves over the southwest and Midwest states since Friday. People are taking stock of the damage after severe weather over the weekend killed at least 14 people in five Southern states.

Senior Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, will brief all 100 USA senators on the tense stand-off with North Korea at an extraordinary meeting at the White House tomorrow.

South Korea's envoy, Kim Hong-kyun, said they had also discussed how to get Russia's help to press North Korea.

An unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the US administration's policy to maximize pressure on North Korea was "little short of lighting the fuse of total war", the state news agency reported Tuesday.

South Korean military officials initially told media last week that the Vinson would arrive Tuesday, April 25, which would have coincided with the 85th anniversary of the North's founding of the Korean People's Army.

"North Korea's a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a U.N. Security Council meeting Friday to galvanize global action.

The Trump administration is also upping the ante diplomatically.

Tillerson will be "very vocal" about nations enforcing sanctions on North Korea, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. "The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

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