16 May, 2017
On April 17 North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC in Pyongyang, that despite global condemnation and growing military tensions with the U.S., North Korea will "be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".
Defence Secretary James Mattis has briefed the Congress on the option, but the military has not yet chose to intercept a test missile.
But, mindful that this would likely trigger massive retaliation and casualties in South Korea and Japan, US officials say the Trump administration's main focus is on tougher economic sanctions.
Viewing his adversaries in the distance, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".
A main difference between President Donald Trump's North Korea policy and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, is the potential for using military force, a United States congressman said Tuesday.
Unlike President Donald Trump's unpredictability and his positions on North Korea and Russian Federation which are causing global instability, according to Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former French prime minister, North Korea's nuclear programme while being a source of concern over the years, is neither unpredictable nor irrational. But, Kim, North Korea's current leader took power during Obama's tenure in 2011 after his father died.
In November a year ago, the United Nations restricted member states from importing North Korean coal on the basis that the $1 billion annual revenue may contribute to the DPRK's weapons programs. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the North to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
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During an interview, President Trump ended up telegraphing a major misconception regarding the leader of North Korea.
Trump has said he's willing to make trade and economic concessions to China in return for its help with North Korea. "Nobody's ever seen such a positive response on our behalf from China", he said.
He said Trump is certain that negotiating trade deals with individual countries was the best way to ensure they yield "win-win" situations for both sides.
"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", Pence told 2,500 sailors wearing blue fatigues and Naval baseball caps on a sunny, windy morning aboard the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. But at the same time, McMaster said on "This Week" on ABC that "it's time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully". "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve - or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region". He continues to tweet cryptic and often provocative messages about his plans to deal with the North Korean crisis. It would be unwise of Japan and South Korea to deepen their rifts over historical and other issues. "Hopefully he wants peace and we want peace and that's going to be the end determination, but we're going to see what happens". "Even if a war breaks out, it's not like that war will take place on USA soil". The dialogue with North Korea for the sake of the dialogue is pointless.
"Start a trade war with China while in the middle of him working on a bigger problem, frankly, with North Korea?"
President Xi Jinping of China will probably amp up the pressure somewhat, and that's useful - North Korean missiles are built using some Chinese parts - but few expect Kim Jong-un to give up his nukes.
He said that an "all-out war" would result if the USA took military action.