Military considers shooting down North Korea missile tests

Cheryl Sanders
April 19, 2017

During a visit to South Korea this week, Vice President Mike Pence said North Korea's failed missile launch on Sunday was a provocation and warned Pyongyang against "testing" Trump's resolve. In a report by CNN, defense officials revealed that the failed missiles test occurred in Sinpo, a port area in the eastern North Korea.

"We will defeat any attack and meet any use of nuclear or conventional weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", he said aboard the USS Reagan in Yokosuka, Japan.

He added that China has thus proposed the suspension of military exercises by South Korea and the US on the one hand, and the suspension of nuclear testing by North Korea on the other, so that both sides could start talks.

"It's a little bit early to say just what forms things will take, but we are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan, and to do so in the form of an agreement", Ross said when asked about a possible free trade pact.

White House officials say the meetings in Tokyo are meant to forge a framework for future discussions after the US withdrew from a Pacific Rim trade pact.

"The simple fact [is] we cannot afford to build enough interceptors to engage the quantity of threat missiles which can be presented to us", Archer Macy, a retired admiral in the U.S. Navy and former director of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization, said at a 2015 missile defense conference.

Beijing has signed up to United Nations sanctions against North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, and in February vowed to halt coal imports, but trade and finance continue.

Mattis credited China with trying to help get the North Korea situation "under control" with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Pressure on North Korea is crucial, the prime minister said.

The Trump administration has signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions, dispatching Pence to the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea on Monday in a show of American resolve. But it remains unclear what might come next.

Japan had a $69 billion trade surplus with the United States previous year, which Donald Trump criticized and is seeking to reduce America's trade deficit with countries like Japan.

"The regime is now developing intercontinental ballistic missiles which would be capable of delivering a nuclear strike on the mainland United States".

Two sources, briefing on the planning, said the Pentagon, amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, was looking for ways short of war to pressure the country into denuclearisation, particularly if Pyongyang goes forward with a sixth nuclear test.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

Beijing, of course, has made this promise before, and experts warn there is no particular reason why China would honour it now - but the White House seems to have few better options. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said tensions need to be eased on the Korean Peninsula to bring the escalating dispute there to a peaceful resolution.

Other reports by iNewsToday