Author: Not available
China National News – Sunday 23rd April, 2017
For close to a month the constant sabre-rattling by North Korea and America has created a war like situation on the Korean peninsula.
Amid increased military actions by both the nations and its allies, last week U.S. officials passed many statements, giving hints of how the Trump administration might handle the contentious North Korea issue.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned that the slightest attack from Pyongyang will be “met with an overwhelming response” – citing the administration’s recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan.
However, Pence also said that a peaceful solution is workable to sort out the crisis.
Amidst these contradictory statements, North Korea has now threatened to sink the controversial U.S. aircraft carrier in a bid to demonstrate its military prowess.
Controversy broke out earlier last week as America’s proclaimed strike group, led by aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, that was apparently deployed to be sent to the Korean peninsula over two weeks back was revealed to actually be engaged in joint drills in Australia.
As America continued to repeat its warning to North Korea, urging it to not engage in strikes – China, fearing a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and assuming a refugee situation might arise, deployed about 150,000 troops to its southern frontier with North Korea.
Now, joining the fray, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have sent troops to the country’s 11-mile border with North Korea.
The country is fearing Trump will attack Kim Jong Un, triggering a tidal wave of refugees.
Both China and Russia fear a mass exodus of North Korean refugees if eventually, a war breaks out.
On Wednesday, Russia blocked UN Security Council condemnation of Pyongyang’s latest missile test.
North Korea’s only regional ally, China meanwhile backed the strongly-worded statement put forward by the United States.
The proposed statement demands that North Korea “conduct no further nuclear tests” and halt missile launches.
On Saturday, Pence said that the strike group would arrive «within days» but gave no other details.
On Friday, the two Japanese warships, the Samidare and Ashigara, left western Japan to join the Carl Vinson.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force said in a statement that the warships will ‘practice a variety of tactics’ with the U.S. strike group.
Japan’s navy consisting of a destroyer fleet is the second largest in Asia after China’s.
However, in a defiant message, North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun has said, “Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike.»
The paper likened the aircraft carrier to a «gross animal» adding that a strike on it would be «an actual example to show our military’s force.”
North Korea is set to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People’s Army on Tuesday.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated ahead of the major military anniversary as the event is marked each year through the launch of missiles or nuclear tests.
The North is now concluding its winter military drills and the annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States too are coming to an end.
Meanwhile, reports of increased activity from Chinese bombers and Russia deploying troops to its Far East have only intensified tensions of a possible conflict breaking out if U.S. decides to launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.
Further, the heads of the Five Eyes intelligence agencies – the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand – were to hold its annual meeting in a secluded New Zealand mountain resort.
U.S. officials noted that Chinese bombers had been put on «high alert» in order to react to a potential crisis on the Korean peninsula.
On Thursday, Trump cryptically told the media that «some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours» by the Chinese.
He expressed confidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping would «try very hard» to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programmes.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two of them last year, along with a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
The Kim Jong Un-led nation has also threatened to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States.
During the recent Day of the Sun parade in Pyongyang, that marks the birth of the hermit state’s founding father, North Korea flexed its military muscle and displayed many of its new long-range and submarine-based missiles.
While Trump has warned that he could have «no choice» but to act if North fails to halt its nuclear testing programme – North Korea has said that it would continue to test nuclear missiles monthly.
It also warned that the U.S. could face «all out war» if president Trump and his government were «reckless enough to use military means.”
North Korea reiterated that its nuclear programme is for self-defense, while warning the United States of a nuclear attack in response to any aggression.
It has also threatened to lay waste to South Korea and Japan.