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donald trump on north korea


North Korea tested two new missiles on July 25, calling this action a “solemn warning” against what it described as “South Korean warmongers”.

The short-range missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, from Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said his country was forced to develop weapons to “eliminate potential and direct threats”.

Kim Jong-un said the test involved a new tactical guided weapons system.

His comments, reported in state media, come after North Korea criticized a decision by South Korea and the US to hold military drills next month.

North Korea has long regarded the drills as preparation for an invasion.

Though the US and South Korea have refused to cancel the annual military exercises, they have been scaled back significantly.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said one of the new missiles traveled about 420 miles. The US also confirmed that the missiles were “short-range”.

Kim Jong-un said he was “satisfied” with the new weapons system’s response and claimed it would “not be easy to defend against”.

The North Korean leader said that South Korea should “not make a mistake of ignoring the warning”.

South Korea has urged the North to stop acts that are unhelpful to easing tension and said the tests posed a military threat.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed concerns about the launch, however, calling them a negotiating tactic.

He told Bloomberg Television: “Everybody tries to get ready for negotiations and create leverage and create risk for the other side.

“We want diplomacy to work. If it takes another two weeks or four weeks, so be it.”

The test is the first since Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump met at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), an area that divides the two Koreas, on June 30.

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The missile launch also comes after anger from North Korea over planned military exercises between South Korea and the US, an annual event. North Korea warned they could affect the resumption of denuclearization talks.

About 29,000 US soldiers are based in South Korea, under a security agreement reached after the war ended in 1953.

In 2018, Kim Jong-un said North Korea would stop nuclear testing and would no longer launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Nuclear activity appears to be continuing, however, and satellite images of North Korea’s main nuclear site last month showed movement, suggesting the country could be reprocessing radioactive material into bomb fuel.

North Korea also continues to demonstrate its abilities to develop new weapons despite strict economic sanctions. Earlier this week Kim Jong-un inspected a new type of submarine, state media reported, which could be developed to carry ballistic missiles, according to some analysts.

In May, Pyongyang also conducted a similar short-range missile launch, its first such test since its intercontinental ballistic missile launch in 2017.

President Trump responded then by saying he believed Kim Jong-un would not do anything that could jeopardize his country’s path towards better relations.

Donald Trump tweeted that Kim Jong-un “knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me”.


Otto Warmbier’s parents have shared horrific details of his condition when he arrived home from North Korea.

In an interview with Fox and Friends, Fred and Cindy Warmbier said that the North Koreans were “terrorists” who had “systematically tortured” their son.

Otto Warmbier was jailed in Pyongyang in 2016 for stealing a hotel sign.

The American student was released on medical grounds in June 2017 but arrived home seriously ill and died days later.

North Korea has always denied mistreating Otto Warmbier. According to North Korean officials, he contracted botulism while in prison but US doctors found no trace of this.

In their first interview since their son’s death, Fred and Cindy Warmbier told Fox News that they “felt it was time to tell the truth about the condition that Otto was in”.

American doctors had previously described Otto Warmbier as being in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness”, but his parents said calling this a coma was “unfair”.

Fred Warmbier said when they saw his son he was “moving around, and jerking violently, making these howling and inhuman sounds”.

His head was shaved, he was blind and deaf, his arms and legs were “totally deformed” and he had a huge scar on his foot, he said. It “looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth”.

Image source Flickr

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Fred Warmbier said: “Otto was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by Kim and his regime. This was no accident.”

He also said Otto had been abandoned by his family, his country and the world and that the government had given them no information about his death.

Cindy Warmbier said North Korea sent him home because “they didn’t want him to die on their soil”.

The family refused a post-mortem examination because they thought Otto had suffered enough and “I wasn’t going to let him out of my sight,” she said.

Cindy Warmbier also pleaded with people not to go to North Korea, saying it was “playing into” Pyongyang’s propaganda. US citizens are now banned from travelling to North Korea.

However, the Cincinnati Enquirer, a local newspaper has disputed the allegations made by Otto Warmbier’s parents.

The newspaper said it had obtained a copy of a coroner’s report on Otto Warmbier, based on an external examination, which revealed several small scars but nothing which indicated torture.

The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted the Hamilton County coroner as saying Otto Warmbier’s teeth were “natural and in good repair” and that he appeared to have died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.

President Donald Trump, who is known to watch Fox and Friends, tweeted that it had been “a great interview”, and that “Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea”.

The president’s comment is likely to stoke the escalating tensions between North Korea and the US, which have exchanged allegations and threats at an unprecedented rate in recent weeks.

The US has denied a war declaration against North Korea.

A statement from North Korea on September 25 accuses Washington of declaring war.

The White House also warned North Korea to stop provocations after it said it had the right to shoot down US bombers.

A UN spokesman said fiery talk could lead to fatal misunderstandings.

Meanwhile, South Korea has called for a level-headed response, warning that accidental clashes in the region could quickly spiral out of control.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters on September 25 that “the whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country”.

Ri Yong-ho’s comments were a response to a tweet from President Donald Trump suggesting North Korea would not “be around much longer” if its leaders continued their rhetoric.

Image source Wikimedia

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On September 24, US warplanes flew close to North Korea’s coast in a show of force.

Speaking as he left New York after the UN General Assembly, Ri Yong-ho said his country had the right to shoot down US warplanes even if they were not in North Korea’s airspace.

On September 25, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US had “not declared war against North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd”.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning reacted by saying: “If North Korea does not stop their provocative actions, you know, we will make sure that we provide options to the president to deal with North Korea.”

South Korea – technically at war with North Korea since the 1950s – called for “astuteness and steadfastness” in responding to what it describes as continued provocations by Pyongyang.

Speaking in New York, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called for the prevention of any “further escalation of tensions, or any kind of accidental military clashes in the region which can quickly spiral out of control”.

South Korea’s intelligence service said North Korea was readjusting the position of its military aircraft and strengthening its coastal defenses, according to the South’s news agency Yonhap.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, said that “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings” and that “the only solution for this is a political solution”.

China’s ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, told Reuters: “We want things to calm down.

“It’s getting too dangerous and it’s in nobody’s interest.”

Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict.

North Korea has continued to carry out nuclear and ballistic missile tests in recent weeks, in defiance of successive rounds of UN sanctions.

Pyongyang says nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.

After North Korea’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country.


President Donald Trump has announced that the US military is “locked and loaded” to deal with North Korea, ramping up the rhetorical brinkmanship.

He tweeted: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!”

President Trump spoke as North Korea accused him of “driving” the Korean peninsula to the “brink of a nuclear war”.

Pyongyang has announced plans to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam.

On August 11, Guam’s homeland security agency issued a fact sheet with tips for residents to prepare for any missile threat.

The sheet states: “Do not look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you.”

“Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.”

Photo AP

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Russia said the exchange of threats between the US and North Korea “worry us very much”.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rated the risk of military conflict as “very high” as he put forward a joint Russian-Chinese plan to defuse the crisis.

President Trump’s tweet follows his threat earlier this week to rain “fire and fury” on Pyongyang.

His latest post came hours after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis attempted to cool tensions by emphasizing a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Speaking in California late on August 10, the Pentagon chief said it was his job to be ready for conflict.

However, he said the effort by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley “has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results”.

Jim Mattis added: “The tragedy of war is well enough known. It doesn’t need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic.”

When asked about US military plans for a potential conflict, Jim Mattis said the country was ready, but he would not “tell the enemy in advance what I’m going to do”.

Also on August 11, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency accused the US of a “criminal attempt to impose nuclear disaster upon the Korean nation”.

North Korea’s media outlet said America was making “desperate efforts” to test weapons in the Korean peninsula.

Washington is “the mastermind of nuclear threat, the heinous nuclear war fanatic”, the report said.

Tensions have escalated since North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

The regime was further angered by last week’s UN decision to increase economic sanctions against it.

North Korea has said it will within days finalize a plan to fire medium-to-long-range rockets towards Guam, where US strategic bombers are based, along with more than 160,000 US citizens.

There has been no indication that any actual attack on the Pacific island is imminent.

On August 10, President Trump suggested that his own statements on North Korea had not been tough enough, warning the regime to be “very, very nervous”.

However, the president added that the US would always consider negotiations.

Donald Trump also chided North Korea’s closest ally, China, saying it could do “a lot more”.

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper wrote that Beijing should stay neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the US.

However, it also said that if the US and South Korea attacked North Korea to force regime change, then China must intervene to prevent it.


North Korea claims that a plan that could see it fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam will be ready in a matter of days.

According to state media, Hwasong-12 rockets would pass over Japan and land in the sea about 17 miles from Guam, if the plan was approved by Kim Jong-un.

North Korea denounced President Donald Trump’s warnings of “fire and fury” and said the US leader was “bereft of reason”.

The US has warned North Korea its actions could mean the “end of its regime”.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Pyongyang would be “grossly overmatched” in any war against the US and its allies.

North Korea first announced on August 9 that it had been drawing up plans for a missile strike against Guam, a Pacific island which is home to US military bases, strategic bombers and about 163,000 people.

Image source Wikimedia

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A later statement carried by state media said the North Korean military would “finally complete the plan” by mid-August and send it to leader Kim Jong-un for his approval.

“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People’s Army] will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi [Kochi] Prefectures of Japan,” state news agency KCNA said, quoting army chief General Kim Rak Gyom.

“They will fly 3,356.7km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30-40km away from Guam.”

The Hwasong missiles are North Korea’s domestically produced medium and long-range weapons.

The governor of Guam addressed North Korea’s new statement on August 10, telling Reuters that Pyongyang usually likes to be unpredictable and has fired surprise missiles in the past.

“They’re now telegraphing their punch, which means they don’t want to have any misunderstandings. I think that’s a position of fear,” said Governor Eddie Calvo.

President Trump boasted about America’s atomic arsenal earlier on August 9.

Tweeting from New Jersey where he is on holiday, President Trump said the US nuclear stockpile was “more powerful than ever before”.


A medium-range ballistic missile has been test-fired by North Korea from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan.

According to South Korea’s defense ministry, the missile flew about 40 miles.

It is the latest in a series of tests which North Korea says is peaceful but is widely believed to be part of a program to develop nuclear weapons.

The launch comes on the eve of a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to the US to meet President Donald Trump.

The two will discuss how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN, though has repeatedly broken those sanctions.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the launch as “yet another” intermediate range ballistic missile, adding: “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

The US military’s Pacific Command said it appeared to have been a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile.

“The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America,” it said.

Japan called the launch “provocative”, while South Korea condemned it as “a blunt challenge” to the UN and “a threat to the peace and safety of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.

Last month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan from the Tongchang-ri region, near the border with China.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it a “new stage of threat”.

Last week, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on 11 North Korean business representatives and one company.

On April 4, US politicians overwhelmingly backed a bill relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terror.

North Korea responded by warning that it will retaliate if the international community steps up sanctions, saying the US was forcing the situation “to the brink of war”.

President Trump warned in a recent interview that the US is willing to tackle North Korea alone if China does not help rein its troublesome neighbor in.

China has long been North Korea’s closest diplomatic ally and trading partner, but the relationship has become increasingly strained over Pyongyang’s refusal to halt nuclear and missile testing.



President Trump has said the US will “solve” the nuclear threat from North Korea, with or without China’s help.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Donald Trump said: “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”

Pressed on whether he thought he could succeed alone, President Trump replied: “Totally.”

Donald Trump was speaking ahead of a scheduled visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone,” he told the Financial Times.

Asked if he meant “one-on-one” unilateral action, Donald Trump said: “I don’t have to say any more.”

The president did not give any further details on what action he would take.

Donald Trump’s brief comments, published just days before the key meeting with Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on April 6, are the latest in a series of warnings over North Korea’s nuclear development.

There are fears that North Korea could eventually develop the ability to launch long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the mainland US.

During a trip to Asia in March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said pre-emptive military action was an option “on the table”.

A month earlier, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that any use of nuclear weapons would be met with an “overwhelming” response.

However, President Trump is expected to put pressure on President Xi to do much more at their meeting this week – and he has implied that the issue of trade could be used as leverage.

Donald Trump told the Financial Times that “trade is the incentive. It is all about trade”. However, he said he did not plan to discuss tariffs during the meeting.

At the end of March, President Trump signed two executive orders to deal with the US trade deficit, reviewing current rules and foreign trade abuses.

White House officials insisted China was not the focus of his orders – but it is the largest source of the US trade deficit, accounting for about $347 billion a year, out of a total of $502 billion.

Donald Trump himself tweeted that “the meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits”.

He has not said how he will negotiate trade with China while also pressing them to influence North Korea.

China is a historic ally of North Korea although ties have been strained in recent years. It has taken action in light of the reclusive nation’s latest missile tests.

In February, China banned coal imports from North Korea until the end of 2017, cutting a major source of cash income for Pyongyang.

Analysts say China has maintained its support for Pyongyang as it fears a complete collapse of the North Korean regime could lead to Korean unification, with US soldiers based in a country with a land border with China.

It is thought that China is also concerned at the prospect of millions of North Korean refugees entering its borders.