Are North Korea and Iran Working Together?

Duterte calls Kim Jong Un “chubby son-of-a-whore maniac”
After Trump's latest Twitter outburst, Rex Tillerson tells North Korea: USA is not your enemy

04 August, 2017

North Korea's latest long-range missile tests have all shared a common factor - they're shot almost straight up in the air to avoid flying over any neighboring countries.

The US is security guarantor for the democratic and capitalist South, where 28,500 US troops are stationed to defend it from Pyongyang after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty.

Threats of nuclear weapons use, coupled with the recent death of a USA student following North Korean detainment, have only further strained relations between the two countries.

Alarm over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests, a germinal step to temper South China Sea disputes and unease over a disastrous siege by pro-Islamic State group militants will grab the spotlight in an annual gathering of Southeast Asia's top diplomats with their Asian and Western counterparts.

But this, we have to keep reminding ourselves, is the Trump administration, and it wasn't long before any confidence that Mr. Tillerson was speaking for the president, or that the national security team had agreed on a common strategy that included a diplomatic opening, was called into doubt. JoongAng Ilbo, a major Seoul newspaper, said in an editorial.

Typically, the United States and China have agreed sanctions on North Korea before formally involving other council members.

And at that point, it concluded gloomily, the answer "may not be yes".

"For our foreign minister, it will be the effectively first test of her diplomatic capacity on the worldwide stage", said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korea studies at Dongguk University.

A NUMBER of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russian Federation and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. The vast majority of tourists visiting North Korea are Chinese. But South Korea's top-selling daily Chosun Ilbo questioned those reassurances following the ICBM test. "Among other things, we will push to make what the president said in Berlin on how to deal with the North well reflected in the statement".

North Korea's July 4 launch.

USA hostility to North Korean independence has been expressed in multifarious ways over the seven decades of North Korea's existence.

CNN reached out to North Korean officials for comment on the issue but hasn't received a response.

It has massed conventional artillery within range of Seoul, which could inflict catastrophic damage on the capital before being neutralised.

The real reason Washington rejects the North Korean proposal is explained by Sanger: an agreed freeze "essentially acknowledges that the North's modest arsenal is here to say;" which means that Pyongyang has achieved "the ability to strike back", to stay the United States hand, and deter Washington from launching a regime change aggression in the manner of wars it perpetrated against Saddam and Gaddafi, leaders who led pro-independence governments which, like North Korea, refused to be integrated into the informal U.S. empire, but which, unlike North Korea, relinquished their means of self-defence, and once defenceless, were toppled by US-instigated aggressions.

"He's got to choose between homeland security and regional stability", Graham said in an interview with NBC.

Yet analysts said Trump will stop short of following through on repeated threats to start a trade war - his main bargaining chip thus far. If thousands die, they're going to die over there. "And he has told me that to my face". The Wall Street Journal summed up the United States provocations this way: the "US military has conducted several flyovers near the Korean Peninsula using B-1B (i.e., nuclear) bombers and directed a Navy aircraft carrier group to the region - all to North Korea's consternation".

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