US-North Korea tense relations
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 16:18:42
(VOVworld) – A few days after US President Donald Trump ordered a Tomahawk missile attack on an airport in Syria, the US military has begun military moves which are seen as a warning aimed at North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions. The world community is now concerned about a potential maritime or air clash between the US and North Korea.
|US's aircraft carrier Carl Vinson approaches the Korean peninsula (VNA)
The US has sent warships to the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea’s frequent missile launches recently. During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with US President Donald Trump on February 12, North Korea test fired missiles and some of them dropped in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. On April 5, prior to the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, North Korea also fired missiles.
US warships deploy to Korean Peninsula
The US has imposed tough sanctions on North Korea. Now the US Navy has sent an aircraft carrier and an escort of other warships to the Korean Peninsula. Lieutenant Colonel Dave Benham, spokesperson for the US Pacific Command, said it’s a precautionary move to assert the US presence and readiness in the western Pacific in response to North Korea’s recent missile tests.
In anticipation of North Korea’s possible nuclear test on the 105th birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong-il on April 15, the US Air Force deployed WC-135 Constant Phoenix, dubbed a nuclear explosion “sniffer”, to Kadena Airbase in Okinawa. The WC-135C is equipped with external flow devices to detect radioactivity and collect evidence of a nuclear test.
US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on April 11 that Washington is ready to resolve the North Korea issue. White House Secretary Sean Spicer has mentioned military moves as a warning aimed at North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests.
In response, North Korea said it is "ready" for "any mode" of war. It called the US’s aircraft carrier deployment a provocation and declared it will use powerful weapons for national defense. North Korea’s state media said North Korea will launch a nuclear attack on the US if there is any provocation. Its army is on alert and its nuclear unit is targeting US bases in South Korea, the Pacific, and the US.
Will conflict occur?
The attack on Syria was an indirect warning to North Korea to refrain from crossing any redline limit. Analysts say the US will not attack North Korea as it just attacked Syria or attacked Iraq in 2003. If the US green lights a military attack against North Korea leader Kim Jong-un will almost certainly respond with nuclear weapons.
The US must take public opinion into consideration. In a telephone call with President Trump on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed that China is pursuing peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and said disputes should be resolved by peaceful means. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that the US is ready to resume negotiations if Pyongyang will stop missile and nuclear tests, stressing that the US’s aim is to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, not to change its administration.