News Worms
News Worms

On Asia Trip, Pence May Fill Details On North Korea Policy

The launch from the city of Sinpo comes a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year- celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather.

Pence's three-day visit here has been arranged amid rising tensions, with Pyongyang seen preparing for another nuclear test and Washington sending an aircraft carrier strike group to waters off the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against the wayward regime.

Attendees at a Feb 23 NSC meeting forecast a crisis on the Korean peninsula could prompt large numbers of refugees turning up in boats along the coast of the Sea of Japan, Kyodo said.

Japan's National Security Council discussed how to evacuate its almost 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis, a government official said on Friday (April 14), amid rising concern over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. If Chairman Kim thinks such tactics will also work when dealing with the Trump administration, is he not surely being overoptimistic?

President Donald Trump asserted on Sunday that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem", and his vice president told American and South Korea service members that the North's latest "provocation", a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival in Seoul, laid bare the risks they face. "The problem will be taken care of".

A US strike may prompt North Korea to immediately unleash artillery fire on Seoul and its surroundings, which is home to just more than half of South Korea's 51 million people, according to a report published by Stratfor previous year.

The White House expects South Korean officials to discuss responses during Pence's visit, and he also plans to meet troops and discuss possible military steps with Army General Vincent Brooks, the commander of United States Forces Korea. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.

Sinpo, where the Sunday launch took place, is the site of a North Korean submarine base and where the North has tested the submarine-launched ballistic missile it is developing.

According to the White House adviser, the test had been expected and the US had good intelligence both before and after the launch.

No planned response is expected from the Trump administration because the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's initial understanding of the launch, said there was no need for the reinforce the failure.

Hwang and Pence will release a joint statement after talks to warn North Korea against provocations and highlight the unwavering alliance. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

In recent months, a series of top USA officials have visited South Korea amid concerns that security cooperation between the allies could slacken in the wake of the March 10 ouster of former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.

United States officials were quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying that the Trump administration was focusing more on raising pressure on North Korea with the help of China rather than using military force. He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the USA will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.

This is Pence's first trip to Asia after taking office in January.


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