United States heavy bombers, jets in show of force against N Korea

by Susie Olson September 2, 2017, 0:48
United States heavy bombers, jets in show of force against N Korea

A frustrated Trump took to Twitter to condemn Pyongyang, saying "the U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years".

USA defence secretary Jim Mattis has refuted claims that he disagrees with President Donald Trump on the best strategy to handle tensions with North Korea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone that any further strengthening of sanctions against North Korea would be counter-productive. "When they are ready to limit their provocative actions we may see this path for some sort of dialogue in the near future", Tillerson said a week ago. North Korea threatened earlier this month to fire a salvo of Hwasong-12s - the same missile it sent over Japan on Tuesday - to create "enveloping fire" near Guam.

The planned joint United States and South Korean response has been named OPLAN 5015.

On Monday, North Korea launched an intermediate range ballistic missile over Japan. Still, it's unclear whether the North will ever act on its threat to fire missiles at the "advanced base of invasion".

North Korea had earlier threatened to fire a salvo of Hwasong-12s toward Guam, which is home to key USA military bases and strategic long-range bombers the North finds threatening. "This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat".

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"There's a possibility of strategic provocations, including additional ballistic missile launches and a sixth nuclear test", the ministry said.

And while North Korea's nuclear threat grows, the United States is preparing a new block of software that will enable the F-35 to carry tactical nuclear weapons, matching the secrecy and potency of any offensive capability North Korea could dream of.

Responding to a question, Mattis said North Korea could do something like that (nuclear test) on relatively short notice. "We continue to work together, and the minister and I share responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation, our populations, and our interests, which is what we are here to discuss today", he said. Some experts believe the next North Korean launches will be bolder unless Washington makes serious concessions.

The missile was launched from the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang on Tuesday morning towards Japan and entered the air space over Hokkaido, said the Japanese government.

"We're never out of diplomatic solutions". He says the North Korean threat toward Guam is more about winning greater freedom of military action than about deterring flyovers of USA bombers or stopping the U.S.


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