Trade, economic ties to figure prominently in Trump-Xi meeting

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2017

Beachgoers walk along Ocean Ave. near the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 5, 2017.

The danger with Trump threatening unilateral action is that the mentally questionable Kim could launch a pre-emptive military strike against South Korea or even Japan.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants China to do more to exert its economic influence over its unpredictable ally in Pyongyang to restrain its nuclear and missile programs, but China denies it has any overriding influence on North Korea.

Trump presses China on North Korea. It uses solid fuel already loaded inside the missile, which would shorten launch preparation times, boost the weapon's mobility and make it harder for outsiders to detect the signs of its liftoff, AP reported. And his solution? "I will promptly enter into negotiations with the United States to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula".

South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast.

U.S. Forces Korea issued its own statement contemporaneously, with one minor difference. The nation agreed with the US that year to extend the maximum range of its missiles from 185 miles.

Pyongyang yet again defied global warnings and launched a medium range ballistic missile into its eastern waters early Wednesday, in what appeared to be an effort to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the US mainland.

The KN-15 is believed to be an upgraded version of the submarine-launched "Pukguksong" launched last summer.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang said at a news conference that the government was in close contact with Washington and was assured the island's interests would not be harmed.

Recent satellite imagery show possible preparations for a new atomic test at the North's main nuclear test site, such as the laying of communication cables used to initiate a test and collect data. North Korea's state media has also said the world will soon witness what it calls "eventful successes" the country achieves in the space development.

The troubled state of ties was reinforced by the detention of Taiwanese pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che during a personal trip to China last month.

Seoul called a National Security Council meeting and vowed to respond strongly in case of further provocations.

"This is Seoul's first missile with (a 500-mile) range and it will give South Korea the ability to put its launchers in the south out of range of North Korean missiles", said Michael Cole, senior non-resident fellow at the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute in Taipei. North Korea called that test a success, but some outside analysts said it might test the weapon again before deploying it.

It simply reasserts a warning that Mr Trump's predecessor had stated about how North Korea was a top foreign policy priority for the new administration as Mr Kim was an imminent threat to the US.

North Korea rarely misses an opportunity to conduct a banned missile test to coincide with a high-profile world event that's expected to discuss the impoverished yet nuclear-armed country.

Other reports by iNewsToday