Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Japan, US resolve to pressure China on North Korea

Japan, US resolve to pressure China on North Korea

The U.S. general is on the last stop of an Asia tour that took him to China and South Korea and has been dominated by talk of the North Korean threat.

"A resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue by military force is completely unacceptable and the peninsula's nuclear issue must be peacefully resolved by political and diplomatic methods", Mr Lavrov said.

The US have said these exercises will involve about 17,500 US troops, largely involved in the computer simulation side of the drills.

Assuming the existence of one or more covert centrifuge facilities, North Korea's inventory of plutonium and highly enriched uranium might have provided enough fuel for 20 to 25 nuclear devices by the end of past year, according to Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who visited North Korea's declared centrifuge facility at Nyongbyon in 2010.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea must not use the drills as a pretext to launch fresh provocation, saying the training is held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea.

South Korea pledged Thursday that there would be no war on the Korean peninsula, as prospects of a pre-emptive United States strike to destroy Pyongyang's nuclear missile program receded.

Perry is one of the only Americans North Korea has ever invited to meet with its highest military leaders.

North Korea has described Australia's involvement in war games between the USA and South Korea as a "suicidal act".

A U.S. Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady takes part in a drill at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, August 21, 2017. Pyongyang has said it was considering plans to fire missiles over Japan towards the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, although North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have delayed the decision. He said Thursday that Trump agreed to consult South Korea before taking any military action against Pyongyang. He was referring to the fact that North Korea has thousands of conventional weapons in firing range of South Korea's capital, Seoul.

And they warned that the United States has the means to respond to any aggression initiated by North Korea.

Guterres' remarks were not included but the United Nations chief told reporters Wednesday that he had spoken to the North Koreans and the five other parties in talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program that have been stalled since 2009. North Korea, however, has long viewed the exercises as rehearsals for invasion. It comes on the heels of North Korea testing two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, and an announcement that it was examining a plan to possibly bracket Guam with missiles - a plan that is on hold.

If the US persists and tests the North's "self-restraint", the ambassador said his country will "make a crucial decision as it had already declared".

President Trump's cabinet secretaries say their strategy on North Korea is simple - worldwide pressure backed by a credible threat of force to get North Korea back to the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, today Secretary of Defense James Mattis joined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for a joint press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

Moon has repeatedly stressed that he is open to dialogue with North Korea, if conditions are met and North Korea temporarily halts its nuclear program.

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