Donald Trump: Military action against North Korea ‘not my first choice’

Japan has put it at 120 kilotons, eight times the size of the United States device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

North Korean soldiers chat as they stand guard behind national flags of China (front) and North Korea on a boat anchored along the banks of Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, June 10, 2013. He reportedly plans to propose Russia’s cooperation in supporting tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea, including an oil embargo.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a military strike was not his first option for dealing with a nuclear-armed North Korea, but he did not rule it out completely.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not detail what steps Trump said he might take against North Korea during a 30-minute conversation. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told lawmakers on Tuesday that North Koreans living near the site may have been exposed, his spokesman said.

Turnbull told reporters: “A conflict would be catastrophic – everyone understands that”.

The UN chief called on the Security Council to show unity and agree on steps forward, a day after the United States traded barbs with Russian Federation and China on a response to North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

“The hydrogen bomb test was a flawless success”, North Korean state television said, adding that the device was capable of being loaded onto long-range missiles.

The White House is stressing the USA and Chinese leaders’ joint commitment to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

“China, African, other Asian countries continue to trade with North Korea”.

Guterres told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY on Tuesday that North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests threaten regional and global stability.

“The issue must be resolved peacefully”.

A pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang’s leadership would be hard to undertake, but it’s widely seen as the most realistic of the limited military options Seoul has to deny a nuclear attack from its rival.

The leaders of Russian Federation and South Korea have condemned North Korea over its latest nuclear test, but still appear far apart on the issue of stepping up sanctions against Pyongyang.

August’s sanctions did not target North Korea’s oil imports, vital for its economy to function, or completely ban North Korea exporting labor, with remittances sent home from North Korean workers vital for funding its nuclear program. “All options are on the table”, he said.

He said possible new economic sanctions would affect ordinary Koreans, not the nuclear or missile programs.

Worse, whatever strategy President Trump is pursuing (and “strategy” is likely too generous a word, given the lack of coherence to date) it clearly isn’t in concert with US allies in the region including, most alarmingly, South Korea.

“We call it taking the roof off”, he was quoted as saying.

China, backed by Russian Federation, has been urging an immediate return to talks, predicated on the US halting joint military exercises with South Korea and the North suspending its weapons development.

After getting caught with his “fire and fury” bluff, President Trump doubled down by suggesting that the United States would cut off trade with China. It’s anticipated that N.Korea will conduct another ICBM test sometime this weekend. The U.S.is weighing a number of military, economic and diplomatic responses. If Kim wields a nuclear-tipped ICBM that can strike USA cities, he might wager that an attack on Seoul would not bring a strong American response, nuclear or otherwise, because this or future American presidents would not risk a nuclear retaliatory attack on, say, San Francisco.

North Korea is a serious problem. A White House statement said the two leaders agreed to “intensify joint efforts to denuclearize North Korea”. He called for talks to settle the crisis.

He said the threat from the DPRK has changed both in dimension and nature.

Moon said Wednesday that the situation could get out of hand if North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests aren’t stopped.

Putin condemned the test and said it was a “provocative” act.

Beijing fears a collapse of the regime in Pyongyang that could send refugees fleeing over its border, and – worse – see U.S. troops stationed on its frontier in a unified Korea. He may forget that the United States has about 5,000 nuclear weapons, some of which are being decommissioned but still number high enough to reduce North Korea to a fairly unpleasant place to live (although the dictator has really already achieved this).

A Nuclear Slap in China’s Face