Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

United Kingdom considers options as North Korea threat grows

North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch over Japan was only fired at half its range, according to South Korea's defence ministry, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday (Aug 31).

Britain wants new United Nations sanctions against North Korea that would target guest workers sent mostly to Russian Federation and China, and whose wages are a source of revenue for Pyongyang.

In effect, dictator Kim Jong Un was telling America and its allies that neither threats nor flattery will deter North Korea from developing and deploying nuclear weapons capable of hitting the continental USA and allies like Japan.

The majority of US citizens do not trust President Donald Trump to make wise decisions about nuclear weapons, according to the latest poll by a leading research center.

North Korea on Tuesday flew a potentially-nuclear capable intermediate range ballistic missile over northern Japan.

KCNA said earlier that the missile launch was timed to mark the 107th anniversary of the "disgraceful" Japan-Korea treaty of 1910, under which Tokyo colonised the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has been flagrantly displaying its progress on its quest to develop weapons systems capable of launching a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S., and has recently threatened Guam, a United States territory.

There must be no possible seam in the structure of deterrence, and both North Korea and its biggest trading partner China must fully understand just how strong the USA retaliatory commitment is. This is not episodic; this is a repeated rights violation that North Korea commits with impunity.

May's office had said the two leaders were expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on North Korea, but neither Abe nor May touched on the issue at the news conference.

Enforced disappearance happens frequently to North Koreans accused of political crimes, Christian proselytizing, or simply attempting to flee to South Korea.

In this year's UFG, largely war games, the US reduced the number of its participating service members to 17,500 from 25,000 in 2016, according to the Pentagon.

Mr Trump has since then made clear that he is at least considering a military response to North Korea's missiles, however it is uncertain if there is strong support for action like that in his administration.

Kim Jong Un "sternly" said that "the drill conducted by the (North's) Strategic Force is a curtain-raiser of its resolute countermeasures" against joint military exercises being conducted by the USA and South Korea.

Meeting late on Tuesday in NY, the council called the launch "outrageous", demanding North Korea cease all missile testing.

China, North Korea's only major ally, has been calling for a "dual suspension" in which the North stops its nuclear and missile tests and Washington and Seoul halt their military exercises to lower tensions and lead to talks.

Prime Minister Theresa May says they are not ruling out cyber warfare or military action at this point.

The allies' "military nexus" had become a "serious threat" to the Korean peninsula and Japan was "unaware" it was "accelerating self-destruction", the statement late Wednesday said.

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