North Korean minister: Trump building "vicious cycle" of tensions

Cheryl Sanders
April 15, 2017

China yesterday warned against allowing tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme to spiral out of control, as a U.S. naval strike force sails towards the Korean peninsula amid speculation that Pyongyang will conduct a sixth nuclear test.

During his 40-minute interview with the AP, Han placed the blame for tensions on Trump. It has test-fired numerous ballistic missiles, including intermediate-range Musudan missiles.

"I don't know if this sends a message to North Korea".

Trump also tweeted that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the US can handle it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow is calling on all parties to show restraint and refrain from any provocative action.

The U.S. intelligence officials told the outlet that even plans of such an assault could cause the already on-edge Communist nation - which has so far conducted five nuclear weapons tests - to launch it's own attack on South Korea or U.S. ships in the region.

Meanwhile, the North Koreans accused Trump of fomenting tensions in the region with tactics that range from "aggressive" tweets to this week's movement of a US strike carrier group into the region.

Gui Rui, the director of Jilin University's Institute of Northeast Asian Studies, said United States president Donald Trump's domestic troubles should prevent him taking such action, while North Korea does not appear to be on a war footing.

Against this backdrop, South Korean stocks closed the week down 0.64 percent, while the local currency dropped 10.3 Korean won against the USA dollar.

"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words".

He also accused the DPRK of "looking for trouble".

Han said: "We certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike".

It was a main topic of discussion when Trump met then president Barack Obama shortly after the November election, with Trump being warned he may face a hard choice early in his presidency. Washington and Seoul deny that, but reports that exercises have included "decapitation strikes" aimed at the North's leadership have fanned Pyongyang's anger. "It doesn't make any difference if it does or not", he said.

Instead, the country is gearing up for its biggest holiday of the year, the 105th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and leader Kim Jong Un's grandfather. "And if not, we'll go and handle that ourselves with our allies".

The Saturday anniversary may provide the world with a look at some of its arsenal.

Other reports by iNewsToday