10 Apr 2017

US and China turn against North Korea

The US and China seemed to get closer in agreement on how to tackle North Korea more than ever before, according to high ranking officials. During the weekend, Donald Trump met with the Chinese president Xi Jinping and one of the top matters they discussed was the aggressive stance of North Korea and how it can be tackled.

The newly elected US president said, in an interview on the Financial Times some days ago, that he is ready to act against North Korea even if China doesn’t agree on that. This was a shocking statement from Trump because it is known that China is greatly influencing the regime of Pyongyang regime. The secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in an interview on CBS said that “the US president and the Chinese president had extensive discussions around the dangerous situation in North Korea. President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken. There is a shared view and no disagreement as to how dangerous the situation has become.”

In September 2016, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test and secret service’s intelligence reports that it might be preparing for the sixth. In March, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles, three of them falling into Japan’s exclusive economic zone. North Korea’s president Kim Jong Un has shown no will to cooperate with the United Nations (UN) in ending the missile tests. These tests are a part of a bigger missile programme, which will allow the country of the north Korean peninsula to deliver intercontinental hits.

During the meeting of the two presidents in Florida, the US bombed an airbase in Syria, using Tomahawk missiles, fired from US destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean. The attack came as retaliation to the alleged used of chemical weapons against a rebel village by Bashar Al-Assad’s forces.  Some political and defense analysts suggest that the attack on Syria served as an example of what will happen to North Korea, if it doesn’t stop the missile tests.

The North Korean state news agency (KCNA) condemned the attacks as an intolerable act of aggression towards a sovereign state. A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman told the agency that “the attack against Syria proves a million times over that our decision to strengthen our nuclear deterrence has been the right choice. We will keep bolstering our self-defense military might in various ways in order to cope with the ever-intensifying US acts of aggression.”

NBC reported that the US National Security Council proposed to Donald Trump the return of nuclear weapons in South Korea or, even, the assassination of North Korea’s president Kim Jong Un. Secretary Tillerson commented that a development of an intercontinental missile that can be used to deliver nuclear hits is a red line for the Trump administration. More specifically, he said that “if we judge that they have perfected this type of delivery system, then that becomes a very serious stage of their further development. With no further testing, their programme doesn’t progress and that’s what we have asked before we can begin having talks with them.”

The US Navy Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier task group to reroute towards the area of the Korean peninsula, instead of making the scheduled port calls in Australia. A US Command spokesman stated that “the no1 threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless irresponsible and destabilizing programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”