Monday, 21 August, 2017

Foreign journalists in North Korea told to prepare for 'big' event

150,000 troops are said to have been sent to the North Korean border.      AP Images 150,000 troops are said to have been sent to the North Korean border. AP Images
Saul Franklin | 14 April, 2017, 16:22

Officials say that two destroyers are within range of North Korea to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The military also has American heavy bombers in Guam, that would attack the North Koreans if need be.

Instead, the country is gearing up for its biggest holiday of the year, the 105th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il-sung, the country's founder and present leader Kim Jong-un's grandfather.

South Korean and USA officials and the think tank have been saying for weeks that North Korea could test a sixth bomb at any time. This latest satellite imagery also comes amid another VOA report that cited USA officials saying that a device at a nuclear test site "could be detonated Saturday or even sooner".

South Korea has long said it believes the North can conduct its sixth nuclear test whenever it chooses. Additional forces, including the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group and a US Air Force WC-135 "nuke-sniffer" were being relocated into the area of operations during the past week.

On Thursday, the country issued a statement warning of a "merciless retaliatory strike" should the USA take any action.

He also engaged in a war of words with Pyongyang, accusing the north of "looking for trouble".

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang, Mr Han warned the United States against provoking North Korea militarily, saying: "We will go to war if they choose". Still, Mr. Trump's threat to deal with the North Korean danger alone has apparently succeeded in extracting a recognition that Kim Jong-un's nuclear-weapons program is a serious danger to the world.

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President Donald Trump has been pressuring Chinese President Xi Jinping to take tougher action against ally North Korea. Trump also tweeted that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the USA can handle it.

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The threats on both sides appear to be ramping up, and officials are aware of the gravity of the situation.

The next day, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Trump on the phone, calling for calm as a US Navy aircraft carrier-led strike group headed to the region in an unmistakable gesture.

Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin later tweeted that senior defense sources told her the NBC report was "wildly wrong". Trump said later on Wednesday the United States is prepared to tackle the crisis surrounding North Korea without China if necessary.

China is responsible for a whopping 85% of North Korea's external trade and supplying a similar amount of its energy imports, but Beijing has never fully used this to get the Kim regime to drop its arms program. He cited not only the U.S.

He said the United States was becoming "more aggressive" under Mr Trump's leadership than it had been under former president Barack Obama.

In an interview published Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, Trump said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping to let North Korea know that the United States has not only aircraft carriers but nuclear submarines.

The annual U.S. -South Korean military exercises have consistently infuriated the North, which views them as rehearsals for an invasion.

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