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Britain ‘Won’t Back Donald Trump In Military Strike On North Korea’ But Could Help Spy On Nuclear Bases |RN

Chris Hughes
Credits: AFP                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP
 

Britain won’t play a role in any military strike on North Korea, it has been claimed.

Kim Jong-Un’s regime has ramped up threats to unleash missiles on US territory in Guam.

It followed Donald Trump’s warning the rogue state faces “fire and fury” if it fails to curb its nuclear testing.

It is feared the US is moving towards a military solution to deal with North Korea’s increasing threat.

But reports last night suggest Britain will only support diplomatic resolutions through the UN.

A senior government source told The Sun: “The Americans are more than capable of doing what they might want, or have to do, in the region without our help.”

However, the Mirror understands Britain could play some role in the unfolding crisis.

The RAF has been asked to join an international spy operation to pinpoint nuclear sites and artillery batteries in North Korea.

US military chiefs hope the surveillance mission would help them prepare for a massive strike or for war.

Credits: AFP              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP  

If the Commons backs the request, at least one of Britain’s three Rivet Joint spy planes could fly to a base in Japan within a fortnight.

A source said: “Although a conflict between North Korea and America and their allies is unthinkable, everything that can be done is being done to prepare for that if it happens.

“Western war planners are keen to minimise the death toll and that means a massive stepping-up of intelligence gathering against North Korea.”

The source added: “ NATO needs to stand behind the US as this situation could impact everyone.”

The £800million spy plane would pry on communications chatter in North Korea.

The RAF crew would be joined by US personnel who speak the language.

Credits: AFP                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP  

Britain has also put intelligence agencies on high alert. MI6 and the listening station GCHQ are gathering information to learn how other nations are preparing to take on tyrant Kim.

An intelligence source told the Mirror: “This is all about making sure every step is taken to avoid something going wrong as efforts are made to solve this crisis through diplomacy.

“They are monitoring how Japan and China and other surrounding countries are reacting to each development.”  (Mirror)

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Donald Trump Says US Nuclear Arsenal Is ‘Far Stronger, More Powerful Than Ever Before

The President also promised ‘fire and fury’ if North Korea attacks the US

trump-north-korea.jpgPeople walk by a TV screen showing a local news program reporting with an image of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea on 9 Aug 2017. AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

 

Donald Trump has said that thanks to him, the US’s nuclear arsenal is “far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” a day after he dramatically upped the stakes in the war of rhetoric with North Korea and threatened “fire and fury” against the isolated country.

Mr Trump took to his favoured venue Twitter to communicate this morning that his first act as President was to strengthen the US nuclear arsenal.

He added that “there will never be a time when” the US is not the “most powerful” nation on the planet.

However, in a move that has become somewhat characteristic of the Trump administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a somewhat contradictory message after Mr Trump’s “fire and fury” comment.

Mr Tillerson travelled unexpectedly to the US territory of Guam earlier today after North Korea threatened to attack the small Pacific island nation after news of Pyongyang’s ability to build a nuclear warhead capable of fitting inside a missile became known.

The typically tacit Secretary of State addressed the media while on his plane: “I do not believe that there is any imminent threat…Americans should sleep well at night”.

Guam, approximately 2,200 miles (3540 km) southeast of North Korea, has two US military bases and is the home port for nuclear submarines.

Guamanians, who do not vote for US presidents but have party delegates in Washington, DC, have been threatened before by Kim Jong-un.

In 2013 and 2016, the mercurial leader warned that US bases in the Pacific would face attack. But, experts say this would be a suicide mission for Pyongyang.

As Mieke Eoyang, Vice President for the National Security Program at DC-based think tank Third Way, pointed out on Twitter – North Korea lacks “second strike” capabilities should the US respond to any possible attack on US territories, Hawaii, or even South Korea and Japan.

More follows…

(The Independent)

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North Korea’s Missile To Reach Heart Of United States |The Republican News

(BBC) North Korea has hailed as a success its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), describing it as a “stern warning” for the US.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the test proved that the entire US was within striking range, state media reported.

The launch came three weeks after North Korea’s first ICBM test.

US President Donald Trump called it “only the latest reckless and dangerous action by the North Korean regime”.

China also condemned the missile test but urged “all parties concerned” to exercise restraint “and avoid intensifying tensions”.

Confirming the launch, the North said the ICBM flew for just over 47 minutes and reached an altitude of 3,724km (2,300 miles).

It said the launch had “successfully tested re-entry capabilities” of the missile.

“The leader said proudly the test also confirmed all the US mainland is within our striking range,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

The statement said that the rocket was a Hwasong-14, the same model North Korea tested on 3 July. (The Sun)

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United States ‘Prepared’ To Use Force Against North Korea |The Republican News

The US is prepared to use force to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear-armed state, the US ambassador to the UN says.Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council meeting, Ambassador Nikki Haley warned North Korea’s regular missile launches were “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution”.

She said Pyongyang’s test of a missile capable of reaching Alaska made the world “a more dangerous place”, adding that the US would use its military to intervene “if we must”.

Echoing President Trump’s criticism of China, Ms Haley warned Beijing that it risked its trading relationship with the US unless it enforced UN sanctions on North Korea.

Kim Jong-Un celebrates the launch with military officers       © Getty Kim Jong-Un celebrates the launch with military officers  

The US will propose new UN sanctions in the coming days, which Russia said it would oppose as they “will not resolve the issue”.

Russian ambassador Vladimir Safronkov warned that military options were “inadmissible”, adding that the UN was heading “towards a stalemate”.

Meanwhile, China’s UN ambassador Liu Jieyi said Beijing “has always been firmly opposed to chaos and conflict on the Korean peninsula”, but added that military action was “not an option”.

In response to Tuesday’s launch, the US and South Korean soldiers fired “deep strike” precision missiles into South Korean territorial waters.

Military officials said the launches were a show of force to demonstrate US-South Korean solidarity.

 

 

North Korea claimed its “landmark” Hwasong-14 missile is capable of carrying a “large, heavy nuclear warhead” that can withstand re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

It said the intercontinental ballistic missile reached an altitude of 2,802km (1,740 miles) and flew 933km (580 miles) for about 40 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.

Japan’s data appeared to back up these claims, with the defence ministry claiming the altitude “greatly exceeded” 2,500km (1,550 miles).

Theresa May and Donald Trump are expected to discuss the test during the G20 summit in Hamburg on Friday.

Mrs May will say it is essential the international community is united in finding a peaceful solution “to the ongoing threat North Korea poses to international security”, according to a senior Government official.  (Sky News)

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North Korea Claims Successful Test Of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile |RN

Related: North Korea test-fires ballistic missile (Video provided by Wochit News) 

North Korea said it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday, under the supervision of leader Kim Jong Un, and it was capable of hitting anywhere in the world.

The Hwasong-14 missile reached an altitude of 2,802 km (1,741 miles) and hit its target precisely after flying for 39 minutes, the North’s state television said.

*Earlier*

North Korea launches missile.                      © Getty North Korea launches a missile.  

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from its western region into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, ahead of a summit of leaders from the Group of 20 countries in Germany later this week.

The missile flew for about 40 minutes and may have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Japanese government said, adding that it had strongly protested what was a clear violation of UN resolutions.

The missile was launched at 0040 GMT from an airfield in Panghyon, about 100 km (60 miles) north-west of the North’s capital, Pyongyang, the South Korean military said.

The North’s missile launch is the last since Pyongyang fired several cruise missiles in early June and comes ahead of the leaders of the United States, China, Japan and South Korea are expected to discuss efforts to rein in the North’s nuclear and missile tests the G20 summit on July 7 to 8.

Pyongyang has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

Earlier this week, North Korea was a key topic in phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of China and Japan. Leaders of both Asian countries reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Tuesday’s missile launch also comes ahead of July 4 Independence Day celebrations in the United States. North Korea has previously fired missiles around this U.S. holiday.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House said President Moon Jae-in called a national security council meeting for 0230 GMT after being informed of the North’s missile launch.

Last week after his first summit with Moon, Trump called for a determined response to North Korea, stressing the importance of the alliance between the two countries.  (REUTERS)

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North Korea Fires Missile That Lands In Sea Between South Korea And Japan

 

By CHOE SANG-HUN
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, on Sunday.© Korean Central News Agency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, on Sunday.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Monday that flew 280 miles and appears to have landed inside Japan’s economic zone where fishing and cargo ships are active, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea called a meeting of his top security officials for later Monday morning to discuss the missile launch, coming a week after the North last tested a ballistic missile, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan condemned the launch as a provocation.

“We absolutely cannot accept North Korea’s repeated provocations despite repeated warnings by the international community,” Mr. Abe said Monday morning. He added that leaders at the recent Group of 7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily, had confirmed that deterring North Korea’s nuclear ambitions was a “top priority” and that Japan would work closely with the United States and South Korea to “make the utmost efforts to ensure people’s safety.”

The missile fired on Monday appears to have landed in the sea between Korea and Japan, inside Japan’s so-called exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from the coast. There were no immediate reports of damage to any ships or aircraft in the area, said Yoshihide Suga, Mr. Abe’s chief cabinet secretary.

The missile was fired from Wonsan, on North Korea’s east coast, and flew for 280 miles, the South Korean military said in a statement. The United States Pacific Command said in its own statement that the short-range ballistic missile was tracked from North Korea for six minutes before it landed in the sea. It was the seventh time the North has tested a ballistic missile in two months.

In March, when North Korea launched four missiles at once, three of them landed within Japan’s economic zone. Those launches raised concerns that the North Korean government, led by Kim Jong-un, had developed the ability to pose a greater threat to its neighbors and potentially overwhelm missile defense systems.

The United States has been planning to conduct a test Tuesday of the Pentagon’s multibillion-dollar missile defense system designed to intercept a North Korean warhead. The United States has struggled to make the antimissile system work for decades.

North Korea has deployed a fleet of short- and medium-range missiles, despite a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting Pyongyang from testing ballistic missiles.

The missile launched on Monday was different than the Pukguksong-2 missile tested last week, a midrange ballistic missile that South Korean officials have said cannot fly far enough to reach American military bases in Guam.

Still, the Pukguksong-2, first tested in February, represents key strides in the North’s missile technologies. It is fired from a mobile launch vehicle. And unlike the missile fired on Monday, it uses solid fuel, rather than liquid, which means it can be prepared ahead of time in secret and fired quickly, making it difficult for the North’s enemies to detect an attack.

North Korea, which said it would start mass-producing the Pukguksong-2, has been known to test missiles to improve their accuracy and efficiency, and when the government comes under growing international pressure.

Over the weekend, the G-7 leaders issued a statement saying the North Korean government “increasingly poses new levels of threat of a grave nature to international peace and stability.” The statement also called on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a manner that would be “complete, verifiable and irreversible.”

On Monday, the South Korean military said it was closely monitoring North Korea “for signs of additional provocations.” (The New York Times)

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North Korea Says Missile Tests Warhead Guidance, Ready For Deployment

 

By Ju-min Park and Jack Kim
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as he watches a firing contest of anti-aircraft artillery personnel in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang: Kim Jong Un smiles as he watches a firing contest of anti-aircraft artillery personnel in this photo released June 18, 2015.© REUTERS/KCNA Kim Jong Un smiles as he watches a firing contest of anti-aircraft artillery personnel in this photo released June 18, 2015.  

SEOUL, May 22 (Reuters) – North Korea said on Monday it has successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile to confirm the reliability of the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead, indicating further advances in the ability to hit U.S. targets.

The North‘s KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test which also verified the functioning of the solid-fuel engine for the Pukguksong-2 missile and ordered it for deployment in field action.

North Korea has defied all calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, even from China, its lone major ally, saying the weapons are needed for legitimate self-defense. The North last conducted a ballistic missile test a week ago.

“Saying with pride that the missile’s rate of hits is very accurate and Pukguksong-2 is a successful strategic weapon, he approved the deployment of this weapon system for action,” KCNA said, quoting leader Kim Jong Un.

The launch verified the reliability and accuracy of the solid-fuel engine’s operation and stage separation and the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead which was recorded by a device mounted on the warhead, KCNA said.

Related: North Korea Fires Another Missile Into Waters Off East Coast – Japan, S. Korea

“Viewing the images of the Earth being sent real-time from the camera mounted on the ballistic missile, Supreme leader Kim Jong Un said it feels grand to look at the Earth from the rocket we launched and the entire world looks so beautiful,” KCNA said.

The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310.69 miles), reaching an altitude of 560 km, and landed in waters off the North‘s east coast, South Korea‘s military said on Sunday.

The reclusive state has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland. On Saturday, it said it had developed the capability to strike the U.S. mainland, although Western missile experts say the claim is exaggerated.

On Monday, KCNA said the latest test follows the successful test last week of another missile that has put Hawaii and Alaska within range.

Experts say solid fuel engines and mobile launchers make it more difficult to detect signs of launch preparations.

Related: North Test Fires Missiles Days After New S.Korea Leader Pledges Dialogue

“For military purposes, solid-fueled missiles have the advantage that they have the fuel loaded in them and can be launched quickly after they are moved to a launch site,” David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a blog post.

“Building large solid missiles is difficult,” he said, adding it took decades for major superpowers such as France and China to go from a medium-range missile to an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“So this is not something that will happen soon, but with time North Korea will be able to do it,” Wright said.

An official traveling with U.S. President Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia said the White House was aware of the latest launch and noted that the missile had a shorter range than the three previous missiles that North Korea had tested.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said economic and diplomatic pressure would continue to be applied to North Korea.

Related: North Korea Says Missile It Tested Can Carry Nuclear Warhead

The two missile tests in a week complicate plans by South Korea‘s new President Moon Jae-in to seek ways to reduce tension on the peninsula.

Moon took office on May 10 after winning an election on a platform of a more moderate approach to the North, with which the South is still technically at war since no peace treaty was signed at the end of their 1950-1953 conflict.  (REUTERS)

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