Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

North Korea threatens to launch merciless military strikes against US

North Korea threatens to launch merciless military strikes against US

Pence's first stop on his scheduled 10-day Asia tour was South Korea, where he spoke with leaders and visited the Korean Demilitarized zone.

Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have seen a recent upsurge, with US Vice President Mike Pence describing North Korea as "the most unsafe and urgent threat to peace and security" in the Asia-Pacific.

Pence called the US commitment to Japan unwavering, adding that its agreement to defend Japanese territory will continue to include the Senkaku Islands, which China also claims as its own.

A submarine missile is paraded across the Kim Il-sung Square during a military parade, in Pyongyang, North Korea on Saturday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China opposed words or actions that could further raise tension.

Han told the BBC that North Korea believed its nuclear weapons "protect" it from the threat of U.S. military action.

Last week, Trump said he would not declare China a currency manipulator, pulling back from a campaign promise, as he looked for help from Beijing, which is the North's dominant trade partner.

In the aftermath of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Korean demilitarized zone, North Korea's deputy representative at the United Nations gave a stern warning to the world body.

Thornton's statement came after reports of a possible delay caused by remarks by a White House advisor who was accompanying U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on his trip to Seoul. "But we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea".

United States officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang. "We are with you 100 percent".

Pyongyang said it may test missiles on a weekly basis, and warned of "all-out war" if the USA takes military action.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China and Japan, saying he would boost U.S. manufacturing jobs. Defying global pressure, the North on Sunday test-fired another missile and fears are growing it may also be preparing a sixth nuclear test.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated China's position that the crisis could only be resolved by diplomacy.

North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations Kim In Ryong said DPRK is "ready to react to any mode of war" desired by the U.S. and accuses the USA of using "gangster-like" logic.

It's clear that North Korea is not backing down.

The U.S. has been in discussion with China - North Korea's main ally - in attempts to apply pressure on North Korea's leadership to restrain their nuclear ambitions. The North's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri also took an aim at Washington's plot to strengthen sanctions against Pyongyang. "I think it's important to see them heading in this direction".

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