Washington, Tokyo, Seoul to take further action against NK


President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to take additional measures against North Korea after Pyongyang successfully launched its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday. On this occasion, the Hwasong-14 reportedly reached an altitude of 2,300 miles and flew some 620 miles towards the cost of Japan. According to experts, Kim Jong-un’s missiles could now strike most of the lower 48.

“We have made consistent efforts to resolve the North Korean problem in a peaceful manner but North Korea has ignored that entirely and escalated the situation in a one-sided way,” the Japanese Premier said over the weekend. He also called on the international community – especially China and Russia – to “increase pressure” on the rogue regime.

In a statement issued following their phone call, the White House confirmed that both leaders “agreed that North Korea pose[d] a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries near and far.”

Meanwhile United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday stressed that the time for dialogue was now over. She also emphasized that Washington would not be calling for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to ask for additional sanctions. She also stressed that such a move would actually be counterproductive.

“There is no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence. […] An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value. In fact, it is worse than nothing, but it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him,” she said in a statement.

President Trump, who last month warned that “the era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime ha[d] failed,” has repeatedly urged Beijing to solve the North Korea issue. However, China has proved unwilling to put too much pressure on Kim Jong-un for fear of precipitating the collapse of his regime. Still, Beijing condemned the recent ICBM launch and pleaded with all parties to proceed with caution.

“China opposes North Korea’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions and (its actions) contrary to the general aspirations of the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said. He also “urged North Korea to abide by UN resolutions and stop taking actions that could worsen the situation” and encouraged both sides to “exercise caution and avoid aggravating tensions and act together to preserve peace and stability on the peninsula.”

Pacific Air Forces Commander General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy warned on Sunday that the U.S. was ”ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”

On Monday, a South Korean newspaper announced that Seoul was planning a surgical strike on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear facilities.