Trump,South Korea say no to military trials during Winter Olympics

The Pentagon has released a statement saying that the US President, Donald Trump has reached a decision to delay the joint military trials that were to be held, until after the Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics are to begin in Pyeongchang on the 9th of February.
According to the Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Rob Manning, Trump consulted with South Korean President Moon Jae-In to arrive at this decision as concerns over North Korea escalated.
The set of military exercises Foal Eagle are held during the months of February and April, especially to test the skill and preparation of armies of both countries.
The step was taken in light of claims made by Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, that North Korea was testing nuclear weapons again. This is a direct violation of the UN commendations. The South Korean President, Mr. Moon had promised a more open policy with North Korea since his election campaign last year. His aim had been to broker peace using economic cooperation.
The UN spokesperson, Ms. Haley has announced explicitly that the US will not entertain any conversation with North Korea unless they put a ban on all nuclear testing.
Sources – Reuters, The Hindu

North Korea Fires an Intercontinental ballistic Missile

North Korea fired an Intercontinental ballistic missile that landed close to Japan this morning. According to the South Korean Military, the missile flew higher than any of the earlier efforts made by North Korea, reaching an altitude of around 4,500 km and distance of 960 km before splashing down in the water, nearly 621 miles from the launch site off the coast of Japan.

According to Korean Central News Agency, Kim Jong Un after the launch said that North Korea has finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force. After the Launch, the US President, Donald Trump told the reporters at the white house that US will handle the situation.

Sinzo Abe, the President of Japan has described the launch as an intolerable and violent act. Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman of China has considered the test as the matter of a great concern and has called for peaceful talks to solve the crisis.

It was the first ballistic missile test from North Korea since it fired a missile over Japan on 15th September.

Sources: The Guardian, CNN

UN Security Council adopts tough new sanctions against North Korea

The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to impose a fresh round of sanctions on North Korea following its sixth and largest nuclear test.

With support from China and Russia, the council voted 15-0 on Monday to back the US-drafted ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to North Korea.  The resolution also prohibits North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

The resolution limits North Korea’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year. It also prohibits all the countries from authorizing new visas for North Korean overseas workers. these measures are appraised to cut off $ 500m of tax revenue per year.

The initial US proposal included an assets freeze and travel ban on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but was dropped to come to terms with China and Russia.

After the vote, The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that the US is not looking for war with North Korea and Pyongyang has “not passed the point of no return”. “If it agrees to stop its nuclear programme, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it,” she told the UN Security Council.

 

Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC

Kim Jong Un “begging for war” says US Ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley

United States Ambassador to United Nations, Nikki Haley said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war” during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday.
Haley began her remarks by urging the council to adopt strongest possible measures to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Citing the history of UN incremental approach against North Korea, Haley said that the security council’s response has not been able to stop Korea’s nuclear progress.
On Sunday, North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test since 2006, which was claimed as a hydrogen bomb by Kim Jong Un’s government.
After the latest test, United States President Donald Trump tweeted saying that the United States is considering ” stopping all trade” with any countries doing trade with North Korea which includes China, the largest trading partner of America. Haley in the emergency meeting also indirectly called out China for its business with North Korea.
During the emergency meeting, Liu Jeiyi, China’s representative to the UN stressed on the crisis to be peacefully solved and also made it clear that China will not support any war and chaos on Peninsula.
Recently, United states President Donald Trump has said that “talking is not answer” and supporting Trump’s statement, Defence Secretary James Mattis has warned of a massive military response to any threat from North Korea against the United states.

Links-

  1. CNN- http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/04/politics/haley-north-korea-united-nations/index.html

2. ITV- http://www.itv.com/news/2017-09-04/kim-jong-un-begging-for-war-us-tells-un-security-council/

 

North Korea successfully tests intercontinental ballistic missile 

North Korea on July 4 claimed it had successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile which is capable of hitting the mainland United States.

According to a Reuters report, the launch was ordered and supervised by leader Kim Jong Un according to North Korea’s state media. The rocket covered a trajectory of 933 km (580 miles) reaching an altitude of 2,802 km over a flight time of 39 minutes.

The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

North Korea’s state media said,” The test launch was conducted at the sharpest angle possible and did not have any negative effect on neighboring countries.”

According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump, U.S. President, took to Twitter: “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan said he would ask the presidents of China and Russia to play more constructive roles in efforts to stop Pyongyang’s arms program.

The New York Times reported, North Korea has been trying to build a reliable intermediate-range ballistic missile, which would be able to reach American military bases in the Pacific.

Missile experts say North Korea may still be years away from mastering the technologies needed to build such a missile.

Source links : Reuters, The New York Times, Washington Post

 

 

North Korean detained Otto Warmbier dies days after release

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year old American student who was detained by North Korean for 17 months died at a Cincinnati Hospital, reported CNN. Warmbier was released from North Korea last week after he was arrested in 2016. He was visiting North Korea for a five-day sightseeing when he was arrested for allegedly trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media.

The family in a statement after Otto’s death said, “Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.”

Last Thursday, the physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier was died, said that he showed no signs of understanding languages or surroundings and had made no “purposeful movements or behaviours”.

Otto Warmbier was released by North Korea on humanitarian grounds after the U.S. State Department’s special envoy traveled to Pyongyang, reported Reuters.

The US President Donald Trump condemned Otto’s death and issued a statement saying, “The brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”

Trump drew a lot of flak in May when he said that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In an interview with Bloomberg news he said, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it… If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State also offered his condolence and said that Otto’s parents have entered a time of grief which no parents should ever know. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations said Otto’s death “touches the American heart like no other.”

Sources : Reuters, CNN

Malaysia declares North Korea Ambassador “persona non grata”

Three weeks after the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Malaysia has asked the North Korean ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours. The diplomatic blow to Ambassador Kang Chol came from the Malaysian foreign ministry, after he failed to provide an apology over his comments regarding Malaysian authorities’ murder investigation of Kim Jong-nam.

Kim Jong-nam was murdered by North Korean agents with a toxic nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur’s airport and Kang Chol had commented that Malaysia’s investigation could not be trusted. He said Malaysia was “colluding with outside forces” in an obscure reference to South Korea. US and South Korean officials have said Kim Jong-nam was killed by North Korean agents with the deadly VX, a nerve agent classed as a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the Indian Express, a statement from the Malaysian foreign ministry read, “The expulsion of the DPRK (North Korea) Ambassador is… an indication of the government’s concern that Malaysia may have been used for illegal activities”. Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Haji Aman said “Malaysia will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation”.

Pyongyang refuses to acknowledge the dead man’s identity and claims that Malaysia is hand in glove with its enemies, even when two suspects – Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong remain in Malaysian police custody. Malaysia, in response, has imposed visa travel for North Koreans, effective March 6, 2017, in a complete departure from the visa-free travel enjoyed earlier.

Sources: 1] Free Malaysia Today