US says strategy on North Korea centers on sanctions, open to talks

Cheryl Sanders
April 28, 2017

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People's Army.

The guided-missile submarine can carry over 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles and deploy up to 66 Navy SEALs. It has threatened to sink the USS Carl Vinson and has vowed to continue its missile launches.

Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the administration wants to use "a variety" of tactics to push North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions and said he agreed that all options must be on the table.

Ultimately, he believes China could do more to deter aggressive actions escalating from the Kim Jong-Un regime. "One of these days soon, he will succeed", Harris said.

CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto found Murphy before he headed to the White House briefing and asked him if he expected to hear anything new about the North Korean threat.

Senators who were briefed at the White House on Wednesday about the situation with North Korea said they learned "very little" during the all-hands meeting - with some claiming it lacked "even straight answers" about President Trump's ongoing plans.

Aides said they were working with the White House to schedule a similar briefing for the House of Representatives.

The Trump administration said that North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat, and the weighing a broad range of options, including diplomatic, economic and military preparations, a senior national security official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The release specifically cites USA allies South Korea and Japan as partners in the effort to reel in North Korea. "Nobody is going to ask, 'gosh was that a nuclear weapon or not a nuclear weapon?' The destruction would be total".

The latter remark is perhaps the clearest indication yet that the new commander in chief is mulling whether he might have to, if all other options fail to disarm the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, use USA military force in an attempt to do so. But he declined to provide specifics in an open setting.

China has urged restraint by both Pyongyang and Washington.

North Korea would "surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the US imperialists", it added, according to AP.

China opposes the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, being installed in South Korea. According to the Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and radar.

The official mentioned that just how the suddenly tense situation moves forward, and how successful allies - meaning: China - are in helping change Kim's behavior will also play a role in the options Trump selects.

"From then on, what we all wanted to know is, What does that mean?" the senator said.

Pyongyang must suspend its nuclear activities, he said, but "on the other side, the large-scale military maneuvers in Korean waters should be halted".

Other reports by iNewsToday