Kim Jong Un's secretive Office 39 hit by UN sanctions

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

Asked if the US was going to war, he said cryptically, "I think you know the answer to that".

US President Donald Trump on Friday said in a tweet that the military option against North Korea was "locked and loaded". He added that "hopefully" Kim will "find another path!" "Was this statement signed off on by anyone?"

We might give up the idea of a zero-nuclear option, but if, and only if, North Korea, in a verifiable way, possesses no ICBMs, ends all missile testing and the testing of nuclear weapons, and can not transfer any nuclear weapons or advanced missile technology to Iran or any third party. Almost two weeks after the launch, he tweeted, without mentioning the missile test: "North Korea is behaving very badly".

Trump's earlier remarks about "fire and fury" were unscripted and not discussed with his national security advisers and had drawn widespread criticism from many quarters at home.

The US leader ignored pleas to cool his rhetoric in a row that threatens to spill over into military action between two nuclear powers. The island, which the USA snatched from Spain in 1898 and has used as a strategic outpost in the Pacific ever since, is home to an airfield, a naval station, and 160,000 Americans, of whom 7,000 are military personnel.

Trump in April made similar comments about USA relations with North Korea, and claimed that he hoped "things work out well" with North Korea.

"Governor, I just want to let you know we're with you 1,000 percent", Mr Trump told Mr Calvo. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the US, such as military drills, that it sees as increasing tensions.

Saturday - Chinese President Xi Jinping stepped in on Saturday, making "a plea for cool-headedness", according to the Washington Post.

Air Force F-16 fighter landed on Thursday at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek South Korea. Credit Yonhap via
Air Force F-16 fighter landed on Thursday at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek South Korea. Credit Yonhap via

Soon after the United Nations resolution, North Korea accused the US of "trying to drive the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war", according to reports. But never before has Pyongyang's bluster been matched by a U.S. President's.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have recently intensified due to North Korea's multiple nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. North Korea has always viewed the training as preparation for war.

"We have more sanctions to go unless North Korea responds - coal and iron ore, some strategic minerals, the oil supplies and the financial flow of overseas workers' money", Gheewhan Kim said. He later retweeted a posting from U.S. Pacific Command that showed B-1B Lancer bomber planes on Guam that "stand ready to fulfill USFK's #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so".

"The North Koreans really have to start understanding that this is a global issue", he said.

"We're too close for comfort", says Francesca Ballendorf, a longtime Guamanian.

Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency said on Thursday its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam amid increasingly heated rhetoric over the North's nuclear weapons program.

During that war, Japan occupied Guam until US forces helped liberate it. Guam's called the tip of the spear for that reason. According to CNN, South Korea's military has detected no preparations for a missile launch from the north, and experts suspect the real objective of the threat is geopolitical theatre.

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