“North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S.”
In the past few days, North Korea has thrown more threats towards the U.S., including a promise to only use nuclear weapons against America.
Then a report revealed today that the hermit kingdom “has produced a compact nuclear warhead that can be placed inside one of its advanced missiles.” These threats prompted a lashing out from President Donald Trump.
From The Wall Street Journal:
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S.,” the president said. “They will be met with the fire and the fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state,” he continued, referring apparently to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) completed the report last month, which also states that North Korea may have 60 nuclear weapons. From The Washington Post:
“The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the assessment states, in an excerpt read to The Washington Post. The assessment’s broad conclusions were verified by two U.S. officials familiar with the document. It is not yet known whether the reclusive regime has successfully tested the smaller design, although North Korea officially last year claimed to have done so.
A Japanese defense paper released on Tuesday came to the same conclusions:
“North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles and its nuclear programme are becoming increasingly real and imminent problems for the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, as well as the rest of the world,” said the report, which ran to more than 500 pages.
Japan’s defence ministry said that security threats had reached a new stage after the North conducted two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches last year.
The report went on to speculate that North Korea had improved its technological expertise to the point where it could theoretically marry a nuclear warhead with a missile.
“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the ministry said.
Last Saturday, the United Nations Security Council passed new sanctions against North Korea. China and Russia, pretty much North Korea’s only allies, even voted for the sanctions, which remove $1 billion off of the country’s “annual revenue.”
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has always had harsh words for the Security Council, praised the votes. She pointed out China, who worked with the U.S. on the resolution:
“This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime,” said Ms. Haley, adding the council had put the country and its leadership “on notice” and “what happens next is up to North Korea.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken to other countries in Southeast Asia about shutting “down North Korean front companies.” Tillerson spoke to these leaders in the Philippines at an Asian security summit and encouraged them to enforce the sanctions.
Tillerson then went to to Thailand and Malaysia in an effort to strengthen our relationship with the countries. The Wall Street Journal explained that in order for the sanctions to work, these countries in Southeast Asia must cooperate since many of them “maintain diplomatic and economic relationships with North Korea.”
Some countries have shown signs of resistance towards North Korea:
One Southeast Asian diplomat said his country wasn’t approving some staff at the North Korean embassy and had denied meetings at a senior level. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations called on North Korea on Saturday to comply with sanctions and said they supported “irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
In Bangkok on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said Thailand had cut trade with North Korea by more than 90% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period a year earlier. He said Thailand would also implement U.N. sanctions but that “we are not going to completely cut ties.”
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