Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

U.S. options on North Korea 'effective and overwhelming': Donald Trump

U.S. options on North Korea 'effective and overwhelming': Donald Trump

And what have the USA and its allies achieved?

Former top White House aide Steve Bannon told a reporter in August that there are no military solutions for North Korea.

"After seeing your capabilities and commitment here today, I am more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming", Trump said in his address to air force personnel and families on the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force. He said at Joint Base Andrews near Washington that North Korea "has once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbors and for the entire world community". Kim added the North's goal of completing its nuclear force had "nearly reached the terminal".

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon will meet foreign investors in NY next week to brief them about the nation's economy, according to the finance ministry on Saturday, amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea will be high on the agenda during the U.N. General Assembly session in NY this coming week. Only now, the threat is heightened.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said trade with North Korea would be cut 90 percent after the "massive sanctions" package agreed by the Security Council.

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's "highly provocative" test of an intermediate-range missile, which hurtled over US ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean.

Asked about the prospect for direct talks, a White House spokesman said, "As the president and his national security team have repeatedly said, now is not the time to talk to North Korea".

Kim had told his top officials that the goal of Pyongyang's efforts "is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the USA and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option", according to the nation's state media.

"For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option", he said. "Now, it's not what we would prefer to do".

Terming the ballistic missile launch as "highly provocative", the Council members "condemned further the DPRK for its outrageous actions, and demanded that the [the country] immediately cease all such actions". Some 25 million people live in the metropolitan area of Seoul, U.S. ally South Korea's capital, well within range of the North's extensive artillery.

Global equities investors largely shrugged off the latest missile test by North Korea as shares on Wall Street set new highs on Friday.

Those arguments were buttressed from within Trump's administration last month when Steven Bannon concurred that America was essentially bluffing about military options, shortly before he was pushed out as the president's strategic adviser.

Trump's own account of the conversation, which kicked off an unbridled salvo of early morning tweets, struck a less diplomatic tone. Long gas lines forming in North Korea.

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