Trump urges action on North Korea in meeting with China's Xi

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 11, 2017

While the USA president promised a "pretty severe" retort to North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, the response by his defense secretary, James Mattis, was to echo British wartime leader Winston Churchill's famous mantra that it is "better to jaw-jaw than war-war".

On Tuesday, its Hwasong-14 missile became the first in North Korean history capable of traveling more than 3,400 miles, the minimum distance needed to be classified as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"Considering the fact that the missile had been launched from a fixed launcher, the NIS (National Intelligence Service) evaluates the technology is at the beginning stage", South Korean lawmaker Lee Wan-young said Tuesday.

Four months before its July 4 missile test, North Korea offered the world a rare technical preview of its latest missile engine, one said to be capable of lobbing nuclear warheads at US cities.

The news set off alarm bells as the United States celebrated its Independence Day holiday and as world leaders prepared to gather for the Group of 20 summit in Germany.

The US has permanent military presence in South Korea, where it recently also deployed an advanced missile system.

The key new element was most likely North Korean leader Kim Jong Un himself, who accelerated the pace of the country's nuclear and missile development soon after taking power.

Mr Kim has previously declared his intention to create a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the USA mainland, a boast America has previously said "wouldn't happen".

Analysts said a May 14 ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang successfully re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and marked a breakthrough for the North's program, The Telegraph reported.

"It's really a matter of enough trial and error to make that work", Stewart said.

China and the United States have made a decision to hold the first round of a comprehensive economic dialogue on July 19, and launch the first round of a law enforcement, cybersecurity, social and cultural dialogue at an early date.

Lieutenant General Thomas Bergeson, deputy commander of US Forces Korea, said that "US bombers and Republic of Korea fighters are just two of many lethal military options at our disposal." . "And I know that with China in particular which is a great trading partner, we will be able to do something that will be equitable and reciprocal".

In the wake of North Korea test firing an intercontinental ballistic missile last week, speculation rose that a nuclear warhead could reach Alaska - with Anchorage being the most realistic target. Friday's was at least the sixth since April, all to show U.S. resolve in the face of North Korean missile tests. "There is a risk if we keep saying the North Koreans can't achieve the capability".

But China's approach to the problem of North Korea has consistently been shown to be at odds with that of the US, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday rejected an offer by Beijing and Moscow to first end Washington's military drills with Seoul prior to starting negotiations with Pyongyang to end its ballistic missile testing.

Declaring that it's time to do more, Haley said the US would put forward a new resolution in the coming days "that raises the global response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea's escalation".

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