Trump strategy on NKorea: 'Maximum pressure and engagement'

Kristopher Drake
April 16, 2017

Several UK newspapers reported that the United States and North Korea were on the "brink of war".

The administration says North Korea is ratcheting up tension by pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

"It will be the largest of miscalculations if the United States treats us like Iraq and Libya, which are living out miserable fates as victims of aggression, and Syria, which didn't respond immediately even after it was attacked", said a Friday statement by the general staff of the North Korean army, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted from his own account and from the official @POTUS one that North Korea was "looking for trouble", and threatened to "solve the problem".

A new Marist poll released Friday shows 72 percent of Americans believe tensions around the world are rising with big majorities viewing ISIS and North Korea as major threats to USA security.

The United States may launch a preemptive strike using conventional weapons if North Korea moves toward a nuclear weapons test, NBC News reported on Thursday, citing unnamed senior US intelligence officials.

Air China is suspending flights between Beijing and the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and Pyongyang says that it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible U.S. invasion.

In this image made from video broadcast by North Korean broadcaster KRT, a portrait of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung, is carried during a parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.

Saturday's holiday, known as the Day of the Sun, normally includes an vast military parade and synchronized public performances, sometimes involving tens of thousands of people.

In February, they cut off imports of North Korean coal - with a major source of income for the country.

"They have telegraphed a bit, it's no surprise that the anniversary is on Saturday, traditionally he has the big parade and rolls out his weapons and his mock weapons", the adviser said.

Such pageantry reinforces the cult of personality around the Kim family, three of whom have ruled North Korea with a vice-like grip.

Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square next to the Taedonggang River in the hazy spring sunshine as tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and other weapons waited to parade.

On display for the first time were what appeared to be submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which could be developed to house nuclear warheads capable of reaching targets around the world. This year Kim Jong Un indicated that his nation is in the final testing phase of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could potentially hit the US mainland.

"In one word, Trump is openly pursuing a policy to annihilate North Korea by force of arms", alleged Han.

In his annual New Year's address, Kim said that the country's preparations for an ICBM launch have "reached the final stage".

Foreign reporters have been told to prepare for a "big and important event" on North Korea's biggest national celebration, called "Day of the Sun". With an American naval carrier looming near the peninsula, and North Korea all but promising another nuclear test, China has urged both countries to stop provoking each other. The North also a year ago launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.

As for the Trump administration's policy, the USA officials emphasized that no engagement of North Korea is currently taking place, and that the focus now was on pressure.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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