The United States and South Korea agreed a year ago to deploy the THAAD to counter the threat of missile launches by North Korea.
China argues that the US Thaad missile system will destabilise security. On the same day, a US guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea.
The missile-armed USS Michigan is set to join an incoming group of warships led by aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which the U.S. said it was dispatching to North Korea earlier this month to “maintain readiness” in the region.
(Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers/U.S. Navy via AP). “If it flies, it will die if it’s flying against the Carl Vinson strike group”.
The president also said he wants South Korea to pay for the $1 billion THAAD missile defense system, Reuters said.
All 100 members of the US senate will visit the white house Wednesday for a briefing by secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Tillerson said that the Trump administration is not seeking a regime change or a total collapse of the North Korean government but instead demanding Pyongyang denuclearize.
After weeks of unusually blunt military threats, the joint statement by the agency chiefs said Trump’s approach “aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners”. South Korea’s navy has said it will hold drills with the US strike group.
China is North Korea’s sole major ally and is seen as crucial to US -led efforts to rein in its bellicose, isolated neighbor.
China’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment on Tillerson’s remarks on new sanctions, but a spokesman Thursday said Beijing remained committed to implementing sanctions imposed under U.N. Security Council resolutions.
KCNA said earlier leader Kim Jong Un had supervised the country’s “largest-ever” live-fire drill to mark Tuesday’s 85th founding anniversary of its military, with more than 300 large-caliber, self-propelled artillery pieces on its east coast.
The meeting of the top UN body comes just days after South Korea received the first deliveries of equipment for a new missile defence system from the United States.
U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris Jr. testifies on Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on North Korea.
“We have a lot of preemptive options”, Harris said.
“People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem”, said Trump.
China has long promoted dialogue to resolve the Korean nuclear issue as Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened to destroy the USA, which in turn has warned that “all options are on the table” in ending North Korean provocations.
It said it was focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, including Chinese co-operation in containing its defiant neighbour and ally, and remained open to negotiations.
Mr Trump said North Korea was his biggest global challenge.
“China will resolutely take necessary steps to defend its interests”, Geng said, without elaborating.
Senator John McCain, who had dinner with the president last night, said the president has not yet decided on military action, “I don’t think he’s reached that decision yet”.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California agreed.
Senator Chris Coons talks to reporters after leaving the White House briefing on North Korea policy.
Tillerson said the United States approach to North Korea under Trump is different from the Obama administration’s in terms of both “intensity” and “expectations”, particularly what it requires of China. If that is what the U.S. administration thinks Kim’s motivation is, it is not at all clear how they think sanctions would change what they present as a bedrock belief of the North Korean leader.
But sanctions will be the greatest tool at the Trump administration’s disposal.
Admiral Harris told the committee that the United States was ready to respond to any threat from North Korea. A pre-emptive strike, he said, “would be the last one”.
The goal was to have the complete system fully operational by the end of this year but the United States and South Korea have publicly stressed the need to speed up the deployment of the technology as tensions have mounted with Pyongyang. But the unpredictable communist nation rattled its saber all the same, with drills that served as a reminder of the threat it poses below the border to USA -allied South Korea. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him.
Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean peninsula amid signs the North could be preparing for a sixth nuclear test. He pointed out that other than the widely known nuclear facilities, North Korea is believed to have numerous fortified underground sites across the country.
China has previously called for more talks between the parties.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said another means of diplomatic pressure would be for nations to close North Korean missions and to ostracise North Korea in global organisations. That was a reference to US and South Korean war games.
Also this week, the US began moving part of the THAAD missile defense system to its deployment site 250 kilometers south of Seoul.
Unspecified parts of the THAAD defense system also were installed.