“Signs are detected that North Korea’s military is conducting a large-scale drill around the eastern port city of Wonsan on the anniversary”, a source told Yonhap News.
But instead of a nuclear test or missile launch, it deployed a large number of long-range artillery units in the region of Wonsan on its east coast for a live-fire drill, South Korea’s military said.
Among the options are returning North Korea to the USA state sponsor of terrorism blacklist, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week was under consideration.
President Donald Trump has sent more USA military assets to the region in a show of force while leaning on China to exert economic pressure on its wayward ally.
Adding to the tensions, North Korea detained a United States citizen on Saturday, bringing the number of Americans being held there to three.
At the same time, a USA submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force.
In a separate statement, the South Korean President’s Office said a meeting had been held to discuss the situation.
The two officials also agreed that their countries will firmly deal with North Korea if the nation stages any further acts of provocation.
Separately, South Korea’s Navy said it was conducting a live-fire exercise with USA destroyers in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula and would soon join the carrier strike group approaching the region.
Pak Yong-sik, North Korea’s minister of armed forces, said at a commemorative event for the anniversary, “Our nuclear attack methods are in a state of standby putting into target the Asia-Pacific region, US bases and the USA mainland at this very moment”.
North Korea has staged a giant artillery firing drill to mark the 85th founding anniversary of its military, South Korean media reported, a move seen as a show of strength in the face of mounting pressure over the isolated country’s nuclear weapons programme. It has threatened to sink a USA aircraft carrier heading to the region, as tensions mount over the North’s nuclear weapons program.
In Tokyo, US representative for North Korea policy Joseph Yun was meeting his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea.
We call on North Korea to refrain from provocative, destabilising actions and rhetoric, and to make strategic choice to fulfil its worldwide obligations and commitments and return to serious talks. “Sarin gas doesn’t have to be dropped”, he said.
He has reportedly rejected military options or trying to overthrow North Korea’s government.
World War 3: North Korea Vows To Annihilate America In A Chilling WW3 Threat To Trump, How Will Trump React? “People put blindfolds on for decades and now it’s time to solve the problem”.
Separately the entire US Senate has been called to a rare briefing on the perceived threat in the White House on Wednesday.
Some analysts voiced concerns Trump was backing himself into a corner with his fierce rhetoric on North Korea, leading both countries to a point where “bad things are going to happen”.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said its military “is keeping a close eye” on the North’s activities, with backing from U.S. Forces Korea chief Gen. Vincent K. Brooks who added during a ceremony in Seoul that “we just stand ready”. US military vehicle moves past banners opposing a plan to deploy an advanced USA missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, as South Korean police officers stand guard in Seongju, South.
Pyongyang reacted angrily to the aircraft carrier deployment, threatening to sink it and launch a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike” against what it called United States aggression.
Seoul’s intelligence officials believe Pyongyang is preparing a sixth nuclear test at any moment.