Wednesday, 24 May, 2017

Quotes from North Korean official about tensions with US

Saul Franklin | 14 April, 2017, 16:22

North Korea's vice foreign minister has blamed US President Donald Trump for building up a "vicious cycle" of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, saying that his "aggressive" tweets were "making trouble".

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang, Vice Minister Han Song Ryol also warned the US against provoking North Korea militarily.

A White House foreign policy advisor said Friday that the USA is assessing military options in response to the North's weapons programs, saying another provocative test was a question of "when" rather than "if".

The country's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Whatever comes from USA politicians, if their words are created to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them", he said. On Saturday the USA diverted its Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to the West Pacific, just of the Korean peninsula in a move the White House said had put the North "clearly on notice".

NBC News early Friday reported the United States is ready for a strike, having positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles, one just 480 kilometers from the North's nuclear test site, as well as bombers in Guam, citing multiple senior intelligence officials. "At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place".

While Trump has put North Korea on notice that he will not tolerate any more provocation, US officials have said his administration is focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions.

"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike", he said.

Director of Jilin University's Institute of Northeast Asian Studies Guo Rui said that Trump's domestic troubles should prevent him taking such action, while North Korea doesn't appear to be on a war footing.

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

Beijing says it will not countenance measures that could bring about a collapse of the regime that could release a flood of refugees across its border, destabilize northeast Asia and result in a USA -friendly government taking power in Pyongyang.

He diverted the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group towards the Korean peninsula last weekend in a show of force. A separate report by US weapons experts reveals how Pyongyang used Chinese middlemen to obtain access to European-made software essential for making parts that go inside advanced rockets.

He dismissed the suggestion Trump made past year during his presidential campaign that he was willing to meet Kim Jong Un, possibly over hamburgers.

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"All I can do is just try my best and work hard", said Choi, as she queued for noodles with colleagues.

Early Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi weighed in, saying there would be no winners in an armed conflict between the US and North Korea.

With tension flaring up, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned of a military clash, calling for dialogue as the "only possible solution".

"Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple loss".

"Lately, tensions have risen. and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment", Wang said.

He added that "no matter who it is, if it wants to make war or trouble on the Korean Peninsula, it must take the historical responsibility and pay the due price". "China is willing to give support to all of them", Wang said.

The South Korean military said it is closely monitoring any development from across the border, assessing the North is capable of detonating a device at the northern or southern portals of the Punggye-ri nuclear complex.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russian Federation is calling on all parties to show restraint and refrain from any provocative action.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E). Han Song Ryol, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs, arrives for an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will! United States of America. Washington and Seoul deny that, but reports that exercises have included "decapitation strikes" aimed at the North's leadership have fanned Pyongyang's anger. The North was deemed to have completed preparations for another underground detonation, possibly to coincide with the birthday of late national founder Kim Il-sung on Saturday, while a USA air carrier strike group is en route to South Korea after altering its initial itinerary from Singapore to Australia.

Last week, North Korea warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression.

Many experts believe that at its current pace of testing, North Korea could reach that potentially game-changing milestone within a few years - under Trump's watch as president.

A military parade is likely to be held on Saturday to mark Kim Il Sung's anniversary but government minders have not confirmed any details with visiting foreign journalists.

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