BREAKING NEWS: NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR THREAT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to military officials, North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear weapon that has the ability to be loaded on to a long-range missile that is capable of reaching the United States.

The rogue nation tested the weapon overnight, causing a 5.6 magnitude tremor. South Korean officials said the latest test took place in Kilju County, where the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site is located.

China, North Korea’s only major ally, has publicly condemned the test.

North Korea “has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China’s government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this,” a Chinese foreign ministry official said in a statement.

I will, of course, be watching for developments on this breaking story and will report the latest updates as they come available.

 

…STORY DEVELOPING

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KIM TARGETS TRUMP: North Korea vows ‘ruthless’ retaliation toward America as tensions mount

Washington, D.C. — North Korea released a propaganda video on Tuesday showing President Donald Trump looking out over a graveyard full of crosses (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/844271/World-War-3-North-Korea-v-USA-Guam-warning-video-propaganda-Kim-Jong-Un).

The video, which was paired with an ominous warning from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, criticized the president for “spouting rubbish” and parodied his frequent use of Twitter and other social media platforms.

The video also showed a figure resembling Vice President Pence consumed by flames and mocked South Korea’s “puppy-like” Defense Minister Song Young-moo for “pinning hope on that mad guy.”

“Trump spouted rubbish that if a war breaks out, it would be on the Korean Peninsula, and if thousands of people die, they would be only Koreans and Americans may sleep a sound sleep,” a statement from KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, read on Tuesday.

In a separate statement issued by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/08/22/0200000000AEN20170822002752315.html), the KCNA vowed to wage “ruthless” retaliation against South Korea and the U.S. in response to their participation in a series of ongoing joint military exercises.

“The U.S. will be wholly held accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by such reckless aggressive war maneuvers, as it chose a military confrontation [with North Korea],” a North Korean military spokesman told the KCNA.

In related news, the US Treasury Department announced on Tuesday new sanctions which target Chinese and Russian entities that help fund and facilitate North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of US persons or within the United States must be blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them,” the Treasury Department said in a released statement (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0148.aspx).

“Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region. We are taking actions consistent with UN sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea and to deter this activity in the future.”

North Korea’s latest round of threats come on the heals of Monday’s Reuters report which revealed that two North Korean shipments bound for a Syrian chemical arms facility were recently “intercepted.”

“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the [North Korea],” the report read (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-syria-un-idUKKCN1B12G8?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=599b6e2604d301797510cb1b&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter).

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. The Security Council has stepped up efforts in recent weeks to shut those programs down since North Korea’s recent tests of nuclear weapons and four long-range missile launches.

President Trump has heavily called on China to put more pressure on North Korea but thus far China has done little to curb the threats of it’s neighbor and ally.

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NORTH KOREA THREATENS US WITH NUCLEAR STRIKE IN WAKE OF TOUGHER SANCTIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Korea said on Monday that it’s ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” in the wake of stricter sanctions imposed upon the rogue state by the United Nations.

The statement came after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to approve tough new U.S.-drafted sanctions last Saturday, which included a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion.

Speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho blamed the Trump administration for the UN crackdown and said it’s ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” if met with military force to surrender it’s nuclear weapons.

“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday.

Yong Ho’s comments coincided with a statement released by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency in which North Korean officials accused the United States of “trying to drive the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war, running amuck to conduct missile drill against the DPRK and deploying massive strategic equipment to the peninsula.”

“(North Korea) will make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country,” KCNA said.

In response, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the new UN measures were necessary to send a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the international community is united in its efforts to disarm North Korea of it’s nuclear weapons.

“We hope again that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to a conclusion to choose a different pathway, and when the conditions are right that we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so that they feel secure and prosper economically,” Tillerson said.

When asked about a time frame while speaking at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Manila, Tillerson said America’s patience is wearing thin but that the Trump administration is doing everything it can to avoid bloodshed by first taking the strategic route.

“We’re not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks,” Tillerson said. “This is not a ‘give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that simple. So it is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us.”

“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson added.

However, according to a White House statement, during a phone call between President Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Sunday, the leaders “affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world.”

Chinese state media on Monday said it agreed that North Korea must be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the U.S. for its “arrogance”. China, the second largest foreign creditor of the United States behind Japan, is North Korea’s most important ally.

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PUTIN STEPS IN: U.S. AND RUSSIA PLEDGE TO ‘WORK TOGETHER’ TO STOP NORTH KOREA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After weeks of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin have agreed to put their differences aside to work on a much bigger issue; North Korea.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House confirmed that the two leaders had spoken by phone and agreed they must work together to help quash the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea.

The Kremlin also confirmed the call, and announced that Putin and Trump have agreed to schedule a face-to-face meeting in Germany in July – possibly coinciding with the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg.

Although they did not elaborate on the exact details, the Kremlin also confirmed that the pair discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has been a sore spot in U.S., Russia relations since a chemical attack took the lives of dozens of Syrian civilians last month. The White House said that the two leaders are in agreement that “all parties must do all they can to end the violence” in the war torn country, which is in it’s sixth year of a civil war.

“The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons” said a White House spokesperson.

The phone conference was the first known discussion between the two leaders since Trump ordered US missile strikes against a Syrian government, who counts Russia as one of it’s staunchest allies.

Meanwhile, China, who has pledged to help play mediator between president Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, on Tuesday urged the United States and North Korea to make contact “as soon as possible” in an effort to cool nuclear tensions.

The plea came from Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry in response to Trump’s comments this week that he would be willing to meet with Jong Un to discuss their differences “if appropriate.”

“Both sides should reach a political resolution as soon as possible,” Mr Geng said. “The most effective way of attaining an improvement is to seek ways to re- establish dialogue and contact.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea again reached a fever pitch this week after North Korean military officials threatened to sink a US nuclear submarine deployed in South Korean waters.

“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” read a statement from the North’s propaganda website Urminzokkiri.
“The urgent fielding of the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, timed to coincide with the deployment of the super aircraft carrier strike group, is intended to further intensify military threats toward our republic. Whether it’s a nuclear aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, they will be turned into a mass of scrap metal in front of our invincible military power centred on the self-defence nuclear deterrence.”

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‘IMMEDIATE THREAT’: MILITARY OFFICIAL WARNS SENATE ATTACK BY NORTH KOREA ‘IMMINENT’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a frightening disclosure, a senior military official warned the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that an attack upon the U.S. by North Korea could happen at any time.

“The crisis on the Korean peninsula is real—the worst I’ve seen,” Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. told lawmakers. “There is some doubt within the intelligence community whether Kim Jong Un has that capability today or whether he will soon, but I have to assume he has it, the capability is real, and that he’s moving towards it.”

The warning comes just one day after all members of the U.S. Senate were summoned to the White House for an emergency briefing on the escalating tensions.

“Kim Jong Un is making progress and all nations need to take this seriously because their missiles point in all directions,” Harris said. “If left unchecked, they will match the capability of his hostile rhetoric.”

Harris pointed out the significance of what he referred to as a “shift” in Kim Jong Un’s rhetoric, noting the direct threats the North Korean leader made toward Australia and the U.S. over the course of the last week.

“His rhetoric is going in one direction and his capabilities are approaching the lines of his rhetoric,” Harris said. “Where those lines cross, I believe we are at an inflection point and we wake up to a new world.”

Although Harris said he is extremely concerned that a strike against the U.S. could happen at any time, the Navy commander voiced confidence in the strength of President Trump’s resolve to stop the North Korean dictator.

“We want to bring Kim Jong Un to his senses — not to his knees,” Harris said. “I have the forces in place to fight tonight if necessary.”

The commander also praised President Trump for his recent recruitment of China to work as a go between when it comes moderating the tensions between the United States and North Korea.

“We are seeing more activity—positive activity of China in this case, as we have seen in a long time,” Harris said adding that he that he remains “cautiously optimistic, but hopeful”, but warned that it remains too soon to tell what, if any, impact Chinese president Xi Jinping’s lectures to North Korea will have.

Harris told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that an anti-ballistic missile system (THAAD) that is currently in the process of being installed in South Korea would be operational in “a couple of days.”

“THAAD allows us intercept capability to shoot down, at the high altitude level, ballistic missiles that go from North Korea to South Korea,” Harris explained. “THAAD is a system that would give an umbrella to protect South Korea.”

As for weaponry in place to protect the U.S. should North Korea launch a nuclear strike, The U.S. has strategic defense assets in place, but according to the most recent tests, these defense systems are only successful 51% of the time.

“People think missile defenses are a magic wand. They aren’t,” Jeffrey Lewis, a renowned arms expert, told The Daily Caller this month (http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/14/what-would-happen-if-kim-jong-un-launched-a-nuclear-strike/).

Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
told the Council on Foreign Relations in 2016 (http://www.cfr.org/north-korea/report-launch-cfr-sponsored-independent-task-force-us-policy-toward-north-korea/p38266) that if a nuclear strike by North Korea upon the U.S. seemed imminent, America’s best bet would be a preemptive strike to take out North Korea’s launch pad.

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PREPPING FOR WAR: NORTH KOREA HOLDS ‘LIVE FIRE’ DRILLS AS U.S. BATTLE SHIP DRAWS NEAR

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea on Tuesday conducted a mass live-fire drill that reportedly involved up to 400 artillery pieces under the supervision of leader, Kim Jong Un. The drill is just the latest indication that the rogue state is preparing to launch a preemptive strike against the U.S., say military experts.

The drill comes on the heels of the approach of a nuclear-powered American submarine that is currently barreling toward the region.

As reported on Monday, the entire U.S. Senate has been called to the White House for an emergency briefing of the conflict (https://rebekahworsham.org/2017/04/24/brink-of-war-entire-senate-called-to-white-house-for-briefing-on-north-korea-as-rogue-state-warns-of-preemptive-strike/).

According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are have cleared their schedule in order to update members of the Senate on the latest developments.

Meanwhile, China president Xi Jinping has warned Kim Jong Un that should war break out between the United States and North Korea, it will be Korea that suffers most.

In an editorial piece for the Global Times, a publication that is widely regarded as the official news source of the Communist Party, Chinese government officials wrote: “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.”

The warning continued that “it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return” and that “all stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

Lu Kang, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, urged Kim Jung un to find a peaceful solution to the conflict before “it is too late”.

“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive and the tension is high,” said Kang.“We urge all sides concerned to keep restrained and calm and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions.”

The aid of the Chinese government comes just weeks after president Donald Trump met with Xi Jinping and essentially told him that destruction of the United States was not in China’s best interests. “If we go down, our debt to you and the trillions that you make from us in foreign trade goes down with us,” Trump reportedly told Jinping.

Despite warnings from their Chinese neighbors, North Korea has seemingly remained defiant.

“There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturised nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” a government spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday to a Pyongyang-based newspaper (https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0425/870024-donald-trump-wants-tougher-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/).

Trump on Tuesday said that “one way or another” North Korea’s nuclear weapons program must be stopped.

“North Korea is a big world problem,” said the president, “and it’s a problem we have to finally solve.”

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BRINK OF WAR: ENTIRE SENATE CALLED TO WHITE HOUSE FOR BRIEFING ON NORTH KOREA AS ROGUE STATE WARNS OF ‘PREEMPTIVE STRIKE’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has asked the entire U.S. Senate to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on the escalating situation in North Korea.

During his daily press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the upcoming meeting, during which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to fill the lawmakers in on the developing conflict.

The decision to call the nearly unprecedented briefing came after Trump’s conversation by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On Monday, North Korean state media warned the United States of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would do whatever it takes to stop the communist country’s quickly expanding nuclear program.

“In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only US imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the US mainland and reduce them to ashes,” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned.

Meanwhile, the rogue leader has taken another American citizen into custody, bringing the number of U.S. citizens imprisoned by the regime to three.

Tony Kim, a 58-year-old Korean-American professor, was detained at Pyongyang International Airport after teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and working on aid and relief programs to North Korea for the past month.

Kim was reportedly taken into custody in North Korea on Saturday as he was trying to leave with his wife on a flight to China.

21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student Otto Warmbier was also detained on January 2, 2016, at Pyongyang International Airport, while visiting the country as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tour.

During a one hour trial, Warmbier was charged with stealing a political sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing “crimes against the state.”

The Ohio native was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlton Show” this month, Warbmier’s parents have reached out to president Trump for aid in bringing their son home.

“President Trump, I ask you: Bring my son home. You can make a difference here,” Fred Warmbier, the young man’s father pleaded.

Korean-American businessman Kim Dong Chul is also being held in a North Korean prison after arrested in October 2015 while in the city of Rason.

Kim had been detained on suspicion of engaging in spying and stealing state secrets. Kim was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor after North Korea’s Supreme Court found him guilty of espionage and subversion under Articles 60 and 64 of the North’s criminal code.

While U.S. government officials have demanded the release of the prisoners, North Korean officials say they are not willing to negotiate amid the current tensions between their country and the United States.

‘PREPARE’: KIM JONG-UN ORDERS ‘IMMEDIATE EVACUATION’ OF CAPITAL CITY AS NORTH KOREA WARNS U.S OF ‘BIG EVENT’

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered the immediate evacuation of the country’s capital Pyongyang, sparking further speculation that he may be preparing for war.

Further, the communist leader has warned foreign journalists to be prepared for a “big event” on North Korea’s biggest national celebration, the ‘Day of the Sun’, to be held on Saturday.

A Russian newspaper, Pravda Report, is reporting that more than 600,000 people – around one quarter of the city’s population – are being urgently evacuated, as tensions between North Korea and the United States reach a fever pitch (http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/12-04-2017/137480-pyongyang_evacuation-0/).

North Korean monitoring service 38 North said Wednesday that the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear site is “primed and ready” for a sixth nuclear test.

The announcement comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that North Korea has likely developed the capability to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve gas.

Jong-un has openly stated that his military’s “nuclear sight” is focused on both American-allied military bases in the region, and on “the U.S. mainland.”

In response, U.S. officials attempted to stare down the rogue leader’s threat, saying they believe Jong-un’s comments to be all talk.

“I think there is no evidence that North Korea has that capability at this time,” press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday. “Threatening something that you don’t have the capability of isn’t really a threat.”

Spicer followed up his comments with the assertion that president Trump had put North Korea on notice that the United States military will not cease to act at the first sign of aggression toward U.S. interests.

Earlier this week it was announced that president Trump, in response to North Korea’s tough talk, had ordered a warship deployed to the Korean peninsula in a show of force.

“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump told Fox Business Network. “We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”

Referring to Jong-un’s recent threats against the U.S., Trump said: “He is doing the wrong thing” Asked if he thought Kim was mentally ill, Trump replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know him.”

In yet another disturbing development, an expert on foreign relations, Professor Rudiger Frank, has warned that China and Russia may be joining forces in an effort to take down the United States.

Franks’s comments come after a week of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Russia’s support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who U.S. intelligence officials say ordered a deadly gas strike upon his own people in northern Syria.

“The Americans have been able to drive a wedge between the then Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China since the 1970s,” Frank told the U.K.’s Express (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/791638/north-korea-russia-china-united-states-nuclear-war-kim-jong-un-putin-donald-trump). “But now the US is facing both countries relatively aggressively. Russia and China have a common opponent who unites them.”

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ART OF THE DEAL: TRUMP’S TOUGH TALK WORKS ON CHINA WHO NOW VOWS TO BACK U.S. IN KOREAN WAR OF WORDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a 180 degree turn, China announced on Wednesday that it is now willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The announcement comes less than one week after Trump entertained Chinese president Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. China, one of North Korea’s biggest allies, had initially played coy as to who’s side they would take in the growing military tensions between the U.S. and communist nation.

That all seemed to have changed, according to sources, when Trump, a billionaire business man, put an ultimatum to China in economic terms.

“Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”

The tweet was accompanied by a second tweet where Trump suggested that the United States was willing to play rough if Jinping chose to back the wrong side.

“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.,” he wrote.

Sources very close to the president say Trump gave Jinping a simple and direct choice: If we go down, so do you.

North Korea has ramped up threats of a nuclear attack in the past several months and Trump advised the Chinese president that should the U.S. be the target of a nuclear attack, China would have a very difficult time collecting upon the $1.24 trillion owed in U.S. debt. Further, considering the fact that the U.S. is one of the biggest importers of Chinese products, their own economy would suffer greatly by their choice to do nothing.

Trump has repeatedly called on China to put pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program as, being North Korea’s biggest economic partner and source of food and fuel, they hold a lot of weight when it comes to negotiations.

“China insists on realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula … and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with the American side over the issue on the peninsula,” Jinping told the state media.

The Chinese leader followed the statement with a terse warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Not only [is] Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises,” Jinping told the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official paper, adding that North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile tests “for its own security.”

Undeterred, Pyongyang said Monday it would “hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences” should there be any military action taken by the USS Carl Vinson in the area of the Korean Peninsula.

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REPORT: U.S. PLANNING PREEMPTIVE STRIKE ON NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR FACILITY; KIM JONG- UN “READY FOR WAR”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a bid to take out North Korea before it can attack the United States, U.S. officials are planning a preemptive strike upon the rogue nation’s main nuclear reactor, according to a leading expert.

Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korean military expert at South Korea’s Sejong Institute, told the Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/04/103_227326.html) that Pyongyang is likely planning a 6th nuclear test that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants carried out before April 25th. The urgency is reportedly in response to the escalating war of words between Jong-un and American president Donald Trump, who has vowed to stop the dictator before he can launch a nuclear strike against the United States.

“The U.S. could also throw a precision strike at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center to prevent North Korea’s further advancement of nuclear capability,” said Seong-chang.

The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, located 90km north of Pyongyang, is North Korea’s main nuclear facility and has long been the concern of U.S. military officials.

“If the U.S. attacks the Yongbyon facility, it will open the curtains to the worst-case scenario — nuclear war — as North Korea could attack South Korea’s nuclear plants or Seoul using nuclear weapons,” said said Seong-chang. “China would certainly disagree with the U.S. attacking North Korea. China would withhold its engagement in the military conflict as long as the Kim Jong-un regime does not collapse so that it does not have to clash with the U.S. Japan will support the U.S. in attacking North Korea because it needs American support as it tries to beef up its imperial military force.”

On Tuesday, North Korea warned U.S. officials that they are prepared to launch a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group barreled toward the Korean peninsula on the orders of president Donald Trump.

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” read a statement from Jong-un in the nation’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.

Also on Tuesday, Trump, who met late last week with China’s president Xi Jinping, tweeted that if North Korea was “looking for trouble” the United States would “solve the problem” with or without Beijing’s help. North Korea has long been known as one of China’s strongest and most loyal allies.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent well wishes to North Korea in recognition of Kim Il Sung’s birthday and said the two countries were “conducting a war against big powers’ wild ambition to subject all countries to their expansionist and dominationist policy,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency said.

Trump, during his summit with Jinping, ordered a military strike upon a Syrian airbase following a gas attack on Syrian civilians that intelligence indicated was done on the order of Assad.

In a separate release by the North Korean government on Tuesday, a KCNA statement read: “We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions. The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US.”

North Korea’s foreign ministry said of the approaching U.S. Navy strike group that the order to enter the Korean peninsula showcased Washington’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase”.

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