Pyongyang warned it would be a "piece of cake" to destroy "gangster" South Korea, state media reported Thursday, as it raged against Seoul for a joint missile drill with the USA following its landmark intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.
Other South Korean officials followed up the statement by insisting that Moon is still working with Trump and still supports the idea of "raising pressure" on North Korea, despite an offer of a diplomatic meeting which is extremely contrary to President Trump's anti-diplomacy stand. Not because Pyongyang can destroy America - the United States response to any first strike nuclear missile attack against it would be so devastating that North Korea would simply not exist - but because the stakes would be so much higher. It wants all parties to step up and share some of the burden.
"Considering how North Korea does not have any testing facilities [for re-entry technology], the agency believes [North Korea] has not yet secured that technology", he said. That is why Washington resists talk by China and Russian Federation of halting military exercises with South Korea in exchange for concessions by the North, or withdrawing any of the approximately 28,500 US troops based permanently on the peninsula. Talk of US-South Korean plans to "decapitate' North Korea's leadership with missile strikes and commando raids keeps giving Pyongyang the jitters".
The exercise by two B-1B Lancers, flown from Andersen Air Base in Guam, was part of a 10-hour mission with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets in response to a "series of increasingly escalatory actions by North Korea including the intercontinental ballistic missile" on Tuesday, US Pacific Air Forces said.
Trump has been seeking Xi's help in addressing North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
A solution on North Korea must come through dialogue and consultation involving the worldwide community, Xi said.
There will "eventually be a success" against Pyongyang, Trump said.
On Thursday, Russia objected to a Security Council condemnation of North Korea's missile launch because the U.S. -drafted statement labelled it an ICBM, a designation Moscow disagrees with. Before Pyongyang's new missile engine surfaced, US officials fretted about the Hwasong-10, a mobile, intermediate-range ballistic missile that was successfully tested last June.
China is North Korea's only major diplomatic ally and economic partner, and the US and others have called on Beijing to use whatever leverage it has to pressure North Korea into curbing nuclear tests and missile launches that violate United Nations sanctions. The fear of USA hegemony prompted China to insert tide-turning Chinese forces into the Korean War in 1950. By any measure, this new North Korean missile qualifies for the ICBM label.
In a statement released on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Xi and Trump had "enhanced mutual understanding" about the North Korea issue and "confirmed the broad direction of using peaceful means to resolve this issue".
"It will be very telling as to whether China works with us, which we're hoping that they will - and we will know in the next couple of days whether that's going to be the case", Haley said.
He added, "We've remained very closely engaged with China, both through our dialogues that have occurred face-to-face, but also on the telephone".
Why are we even talking about nuclear war in North Asia?