No need yet to shoot down North Korean missiles

Frederick Owens
September 23, 2017

North Korean military warned last month that it had plans for targeting waters near the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific, prompting fears in the USA about a real confrontation.

"The increased moves of the U.S. and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure. will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force", the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by its official KCNA news agency.

But they come amid a flurry of air, sea and land exercises on the Korean peninsula triggered by the North's missile programme.

Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from USA forces.

The joint drills were being conducted "two to three times a month these days", Defence Minister Song Young Moo told a parliamentary hearing yesterday. He previously said the idea should be "deeply considered" by the allies, inflaming already-heated debate on the issue.

"The so-called "China's responsibility theory" is essentially moral kidnapping", the People's Daily said in a commentary.

North Korea blamed economic sanctions against the country for child rights abuses, following a statement from independent experts at a United Nations panel addressing alleged forced child labor and human trafficking in North Korea.

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China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade and sends largely free crude oil shipments to the North. Beijing has been increasingly frustrated with North Korea's nuclear drive, but it still doesn't want the North to collapse and cause a wave of refugees to cross the border into China and American troops to move into North Korea.

"Developments in the peninsula nuclear issue up to this point prove that, no matter whether it is military threats in words or in action, they can not promote and advance a resolution", the foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said. "But actually, these kinds of actions didn't help solving the problem but further complicate the situation, which do no good to the resolution of the peninsular issue".

Pic: ReutersGENEVA: North Korea told a United Nations rights panel that worldwide sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs would endanger the survival of North Korean children.

Asked whether there were any military options the United States could take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk, Mattis said: "Yes there are".

Later, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that "some related parties" - a reference to the U.S. and North Korea - "keep sending threatening messages both in words and deeds that include warnings of military action".

The missile launched Friday flew about 2,300 miles before crashing into the Pacific east of Cape Erimo, the longest distance yet achieved by a North Korean ballistic missile.

The US flew four F-35B stealth fighter jets and two B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula on Monday in a blunt show of force. It is the first one to be launched, since the last nuclear test missile.

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