Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Major, major conflict with North Korea possible


In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious USA missile defense system had been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very hard", he added.

Tensions between North Korea and the worldwide community have increased significantly in recent weeks, with Pyongyang claiming leader Kim Jong-un had overseen the country's "largest-ever" live-fire drill to mark the 85th founding anniversary of its military.

Euan Graham, an expert on North Korea at Australia's Lowy Institute, said the messaging from Washington "is all over the shop".

President Donald Trump said on Thursday not to discount the chance of a military conflict with North Korea.

But a pre-emptive attack isn't likely, United States officials have said, and the administration is pursuing a strategy of putting pressure on Pyongyang with assistance from China, North Korea's main trading partner and the country's economic lifeline.

But in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters from the Oval Office, Mr Trump - who met Mr Xi earlier this month - said the Chinese president "certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death".

"I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I'm just saying that's a very hard thing to do".

China's foreign ministry had no immediate comment on Tillerson's remarks on new sanctions, but a spokesman Thursday said Beijing remained committed to implementing sanctions imposed under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"How many young guys - he was, like, 26 or 25 when his father died - take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden. he goes in, he takes over, and he's the boss", said Trump, according to ABC News. "So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age", he said.

Trump was less certain, telling Reuters that he had "no opinion" on whether the North Korean dictator was rational or not.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday there was a chance the U.S. could face a "major, major conflict" with North Korea, though his administration is still not discarding a diplomatic approach to restraint the country's nuclear and missile programs.

Secretive images revealed as North Korea prepares for war Wed, April 5, 2017 A look at North Korea's firepower as it pursues its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of the United States and its allies.

The planned vote comes amid escalating tensions between North Korea and the US.

The Vinson is headed north after initial confusion earlier this month about the location of the carrier, a miscommunication Harris accepted responsibility for. He said he only had 50% of the submarines he sought for the region - "We need more submarines", he said bluntly - and that he saw a need for more interceptors deployed in California and Alaska to defend against potential North Korean missiles.

Mr Tillerson is due to chair a UN Security Council foreign ministers meeting on Friday, where he will lobby for existing sanctions against North Korea to be fully implemented to "increase the pressure on the regime", he said.

In other highlights of the 42-minute interview, Trump was cool to speaking again with Taiwan's president after an earlier telephone call with her angered China.

"We have a lot of preemptive options", Harris said. "I hope he's rational".

Harris said he has adequate forces to "fight tonight" against North Korea if that were to become necessary.

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