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NUKEWARS
Trump praises N. Korean leader's 'wise' decision to halt Guam missile test
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Aug 16, 2017


US urges LatAm powers to isolate N.Korea
Santiago (AFP) Aug 16, 2017 - US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday called on Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American powers to break off economic and diplomatic ties with North Korea over Pyongyang's missile threats.

"We strongly urge Chile today and we urge Brazil and Mexico and Peru to break all diplomatic and commercial ties to North Korea," Pence told a press conference alongside Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

"We would especially welcome Chile reclassifying exports of Chilean wine... as a luxury good under current US sanctions to prevent North Korean from obtaining these commodities and converting them into hard currency that support the regime."

Chile's Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz later responded: "We respect the United States' request, but Chile will maintain its relations. They are distant relations because we have strictly applied all the sanctions decreed by the (UN) Security Council" against North Korea.

In 2015 North Korea imported $65,000 worth of Chilean wine, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a US-based trade monitor.

Mexico sold it $45 million of oil and Peru exported $22 million of copper to North Korea that year, the observatory says.

Bachelet called on parties "to renew all the diplomatic efforts and conversations... to the North, South Korea, China, the Russian Federation -- in order to have a Korean peninsula without nuclear weapons."

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un on Tuesday backed off from a threat to fire missiles towards the US territory of Guam.

Pence was visiting Chile on the third stop of a tour of Latin American countries to boost trade ties and rally them over the crisis in Venezuela.

He said he had decided "to end our trip a little bit early tomorrow after we stop in Panama" on the last leg of the trip.

Pence may be needed back home.

In Washington, US President Donald Trump was in the eye of a political storm Wednesday after his remarks on unrest at rallies by white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

The White House said Trump and Pence will meet Friday with his national security team at Camp David, as he mulls whether or not to send more American troops to war-ravaged Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised North Korea's leader for backing off on plans to fire missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam.

"Kim Jong-Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump stunned the world last week by warning North Korea it faced "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the US or its allies with its ballistic missile program. His impromptu comments while on vacation in New Jersey were interpreted as raising the prospect of a US nuclear attack against North Korea.

The unpredictable and isolated North Korean leader on Tuesday had been briefed by his missile forces on a "plan for an enveloping fire at Guam," according to the North's official KCNA news agency.

But afterward, according to KCNA, he decided to postpone the operation to "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees" and not to go ahead unless the US commits more "reckless actions."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after Kim postponed the threat that Washington remains ready for talks.

But he added that would be up to Kim when such negotiations would begin.

US military chief urges China to pressure N.Korea
Beijing (AFP) Aug 16, 2017 - The head of the US military said during a visit to Beijing that it was increasingly urgent for China to step up pressure on North Korea, according to a Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday.

General Joe Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told General Fang Fenghui during a meeting on Tuesday that the United States was ready to use military options if diplomacy fails, Captain Darryn James said in a statement.

During their talks, Dunford and Fang, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department, signed an agreement to improve communication between the offices of top military officials.

But Dunford "stressed that it will only be useful if it results in reducing the risk of miscalculation," James said.

This "not only has long-term benefits to manage bilateral differences, but is especially critical now due to growing North Korean provocations".

The US general had "delivered a clear message that North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs threaten the entire global community, including China, Russia, the US and our allies," James said.

"In the interest of regional stability, he said the US views with growing urgency the need for China to increase pressure on the North Korean regime."

The administration of US President Donald Trump has exhorted China to strongarm its diplomatic ally into dropping its rogue weapons programmes.

The Chinese Ministry of Defense said in a statement Wednesday that China and the US have maintained close communication on major international and regional issues.

The statement said that during a meeting between Dunford and Song Puxuan, commander of the northern theatre of the People's Liberation Army, Song stressed that efforts to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula "should adhere to dialogue and political settlement".

China -- which is Pyongyang's main economic partner -- had announced this week that it was banning imports of iron, iron ore, lead and seafood from North Korea in accordance with new United Nations sanctions.

"Should preferred diplomatic and economic peaceful options fail, Gen. Dunford reiterated America's resolve to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies in the Republic of (South) Korea and Japan, as well as the US homeland," James said.

Dunford is visiting China this week after holding meetings with military officials in South Korea, where he reiterated Washington's readiness to use military means to defend its allies.

The US general continues his China trip on Thursday before heading to Japan.

NUKEWARS
Haunted by memories of war, Korean-US seniors on edge
New York (AFP) Aug 11, 2017
Memories of war haunt elderly Koreans in New York when they think about the gathering nuclear crisis between their homeland and the country they adopted in search of the American dream. Four million people perished in the 1950-53 Korean War between a US-backed South and China-backed North Korea. It was a bloodbath that ended in stalemate and today lies behind diplomatic panic, depressed mark ... read more

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com


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