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North Korea marks anniversary with massive artillery drill


Quoting sources in South Korea's Ministry of National Defense, the paper reported that "SEAL Team 6, will arrive in South Korea soon for joint military drills and take part in an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un".

On Tuesday, North Korea staged a pounding display of artillery guns, while the U.S. began joint naval drills in the region with South Korea and Japan and the USS Michigan, one of the most powerful submarines in the American arsenal, docked in South Korea.

The Seoul defense ministry said South Korea and the United States made efforts to rapidly secure an operational capability of the THAAD system to respond to what it called the nuclear and missile threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The U.S. 7th Fleet said two American destroyers were conducting simultaneous maritime exercises with naval ships from South Korea and Japan.

President Donald Trump also has warned that all options including military strikes are on the table as he's determined to stop Pyongyang from achieving its stated goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the US mainland.

"This is a real threat to the world", Mr Trump said while hosting UN Security Council ambassadors at the White House.

Earlier this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that North Korea may be capable of firing missiles carrying odorless sarin nerve gas, which can cause death within minutes.

On the same day the US nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived in the South, KCNA said elite Artillery Forces, the Navy and the Air and Anti-Air Force of the KPA participated in drills described as "a combined fire demonstration of the services of the KPA". Completion of the review was "accelerated to have it done before Trump's summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping".

The Pentagon said its leaders and other top officials will give a classified briefing on North Korea to U.S. senators today at the White House, rather than the usual secure rooms at the Capitol.

South Korea approved the land transfer deal needed to provide land for the anti-ballistic missile system under its forces hosting agreement with the United States on Thursday.

Pyongyang must suspend its nuclear activities, he said, but "on the other side, the large-scale military maneuvers in Korean waters should be halted". "And if China and North Korea both believe that President Trump will never allow that to happen, then you have a chance to peacefully solve this", he said.


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.

Fears have risen in recent weeks that North Korea could conduct another nuclear test or long-range missile launch in defiance of United Nations sanctions, perhaps on the Tuesday anniversary of the founding of its military.

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People's Army.

Foreign policy experts say North Korea presents the most imminent threat to the United States. However, some news reports say North Korea has identified the Australian city of Darwin as a target because U.S. Marines are using it as a training hub. It launched a missile one day after the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to chair a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Asked about the threshold for USA action, Haley told American broadcaster NBC that "if you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we're going to do that".

US representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea. She praised China's increased pressure on North Korea.

"China strongly urges the US and South Korea to stop actions that would raise regional tensions as well as harm China's strategic and security interests by canceling the THAAD deployment and withdrawing relevant equipment". He said they also recognized China's recent steps toward that goal.

China, North Korea's sole major ally which nevertheless objects to its weapons development, has repeatedly called for calm, and its envoy for Korean affairs, Wu Dawei, was in Tokyo on Tuesday.

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