Updates on North Korea amid US show of force – latest news

Express – by Alice Foster

America’s aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, is carrying out a drill with USS Ronald Reagan in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea claims it is on “the brink of war” after the US and South Korea flew fighter jets close to the hermit kingdom in retaliation for a ballistic missile test on Monday.

Kim Jong-un warned that North Korea will develop more powerful weapons after its third missile test in three weeks, according to state-run news agency KCNA.  

“He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees”, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

Here are live updates and the latest breaking news on North Korea and the US.

Thursday June 1

9.30pm The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a U.S. and Chinese proposal to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities after the country’s repeated ballistic missile launches, diplomats said on Thursday.

A draft resolution has been prepared, and includes bodies such as the Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army, and 14 people, including Cho Il U, who is believed to head North Korea’s overseas spying operations.

If adopted, they would be subjected to a global asset freeze and travel ban. The measures could have been agreed by the council’s North Korea sanctions committee behind closed doors, but needs to be rubber stamped.

7.30pm Moscow is preparing retaliatory measures against the US in response to sanction placed on companies allegedly tied to North Korea.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the American move would not aid efforts to restore relations between the two countries.

6.30pm The US blacklisted nine companies and government institutions, including two Russian firms, and three people for their support of North Korea’s weapons program, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

America has struggled to slow North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and has turned to both unilateral and international sanctions as one of its main tactics in cutting off funds and supplies to the reclusive state’s government and military.

The measures today freeze any funds the individuals or companies may have in the United States, and bar Americans from dealing with them.

2.40pm Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will appear in Brussels to discuss North Korea’s missile tests, alongside the Paris Climate Agreement.

Mr Li who confirmed on Tuesday China’s commitment to the climate change accord, will seek on Friday to strengthen the pact.

1pm Japan’s navy and air force have begun a three-day military exercise with USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson in the Sea of Japan.

Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force has sent two ships, including one of its four helicopter carriers, the Hyuga, to join the US carriers, Japan’s military said.

Japanese Air Self Defence Force F-15s are taking part in simulated combat with US Navy F-18 fighters at the same time, the military said.

“It’s the first time we have exercised with two carriers. It’s a major exercise for us,” a Japanese military spokesman said.

USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson Reuters

USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson and sail with their strike groups and Japanese

Noon US warships have been pictured in the Sea of Japan in a dramatic show of American military might.

9am Two US aircraft carriers have started military exercises together in the Sea of Japan, US Navy officials told Voice of America.

“The USS Carl Vinson Strike Group and USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group are conducting routine operations in the Western Pacific,” US Navy spokesman Lt Loren Terry said.

Wednesday May 31

9.40pm: US President Donald Trump discussed North Korea with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the White House.

Mr Trump sought support for efforts to pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear and missile programmes. Hanoi voiced the same concerns about North Korea.

4.25pm: The US has carried out a successful test of its anti-missile defence systems, a US defence official has confirmed.

Vice Admiral Jim Syring, the director of the Missile Defence Agency, said: “I was confident before the test that we had the capability to defeat any threat that they would throw at us.

“And I’m even more confident today after seeing the intercept test yesterday that we continue to be on that course.”

2pm: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will press for greater cooperation to contain North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat at a regional security forum in Singapore later this week.

American officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Mr Mattis is likely stress the threat posed by North Korea and its weapons programmes.

9am: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told China’s top diplomat that he would like to work with China to try to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

“To resolve this problem peacefully, we would like to work with China, which has strong influence (over North Korea),” Abe said at the outset of a meeting with Yang Jiechi.

In return, Yang told Abe that he hoped all parties play a constructive role in resolving the issue.

5am: South Korea’s Defence Ministry “intentionally dropped” mentioning that four more launchers had been deployed for America’s THAAD anti-missile system in a report to President Moon Jae-in’s top aides, his office said on Wednesday.

Mr Moon has ordered a probe at the defence ministry, saying it was “very shocking” the launchers had been brought in without being reported to the new government or to the public, presidential Blue House spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

4am: Six North Koreans who were rescued on Saturday drifting at sea off the east coast were sent back to the North on Wednesday after Pyongyang did not respond to repeated attempts to communicate, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.

Tuesday May 30 

9.45pm: The US Navy will deploy another aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to carry out training exercises in the Western Pacific before replacing USS Carl Vinson.

4pm: USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan are expected to begin training with other warships as soon as Wednesday in the Sea of Japan, a US defence official told CNN.

While the training location is hundreds of miles off the Korean Peninsula, “how can we say it’s not sending a message?” the official said.

The training is only scheduled to last a few days, with the Vinson set to return to its homeport in the US soon.

3pm: A US supersonic B-1B bomber took part in a joint drill with South Korea on Monday, according to spokesman for the South Korean defence ministry.

North Korea’s state media have the US and South Korea of carrying out a ”a nuclear bomb dropping drill” on Monday.

The KCNA news agency said: “Such military provocations of the US imperialists is a dangerous reckless racket for bringing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war.”


2 thoughts on “Updates on North Korea amid US show of force – latest news

  1. We need to provide a place for all the world leaders, if there’s any decent folk, they are exempt, to live and engage in their war games and kill each other off if they so choose.

    This sounds like a declaration of war against NK.

    “He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees”, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

    I love the Yankee comment!

    1. Overseas, since WWI, ALL Americans (esp. American Armed Forces) have commonly been referred to as “Yankees”/ “Yanks”.

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