Korea stages large-scale artillery drill as US submarine docks in South

Yolanda Curtis
April 26, 2017

The Fitzgerald, which is part of the US 7th Fleet and based at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, was apparently already in the Sea of Japan monitoring North Korea prior to the exercise.

"If I were North Korea, I would not underestimate President Trump's resolve to stop them from getting a missile to hit our homeland", Sen.

The U.S. navy strike group is expected to arrive near the peninsula this weekend for a joint training exercise with South Korean naval ships.

"South Korea and the USA have been working to secure an early operational capability of the THAAD system in response to North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile threat", the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that the North appeared to have deployed a large number of long-range artillery units in the region of Wonsan on its east coast on Tuesday, for a live-fire drill.

"We will maintain close contact with the United States, keep a high level of vigilance and respond firmly", he said.

This, instead of a feared nuclear test or launch of a long-range missile, amid pressure from the USA and China.

USA defence leaders and other top officials are to give a classified briefing on North Korea to all senators in an unusual meeting at the White House later on Wednesday.

"If the enemies dare opt for the military adventure despite our repeated warnings, our armed forces will wipe the strongholds of aggression off the surface of the Earth through powerful pre-emptive nuclear attacks", Defence Minister Pak Yong Sik said in a televised speech before a hall filled with the country's top brass.

"The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable", he told a meeting with the 15 UN Security Council ambassadors at the White House.

However, she also said that North Korea's Kim is "trying to get the confidence of his own people", adding she believes the young leader is "very much feeling the pressure" right now.

As the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to President Donald Trump. They are capable of precision strikes against the North's nuclear facilities, but the South Korean Navy called the visit "routine" and said the submarine would not take part in any joint exercises.

In addition to Trump hosting the Security Council luncheon, Washington is engaging in a series of diplomatic actions to up pressure on Pyongyang this week.

On Wednesday, Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford, are to hold a rare briefing on North Korea at the White House for the entire US Senate.

All 100 US senators will gather Wednesday for a White House briefing on the volatility in North Korea. Lindsey Graham of SC told reporters Tuesday.

The Trump administration has specifically talked about a preemptive strike against North Korea and has a large US Navy carrier strike group steaming toward the region (yes, the same one that Trump had falsely said was heading there last week). They also said the couple lived with two sons who had attended a local global school before moving to the U.S.to pursue a college education.

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