USA congressman calls for shooting down NK ICBM

The North Korean congress is being held at a time of tension marked by the U.S. decision to dispatch the USS Carl Vinson to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to the latest missile provocations on April 5.

"In the midst of the growing possibility of North Korean provocations, The latest visit by Wu Dawei to Korea is very timely in terms of sending a strong warning to North Korea", Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

China has agreed to "strong" new measures to punish North Korea if it carries out a nuclear test, Seoul said Monday after the United States signalled it may act to shut down Pyongyang's weapons program.

While the Chinese regime traditionally condemns unilateral military action, particular in the case of its sister communist North Korea, there is a possibility that Xi Jinping could actually tolerate a US move against Kim Jong Un, according to Zhang Tianliang, a commentator on contemporary Chinese political and social issues.

Still and all, China has every reason to be concerned that a USA attack on North Korea would lead to a huge refugee influx, and since the Trump Administration's "all options" position on North Korea has ruled out diplomacy, there is plenty of reason to remain concerned that such an attack in being considered.

On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to attend the country's Supreme People's Assembly, a high-profile gathering of the nation's leading political figures.

He said the United States expects China, the main ally of North Korea, to do more to rein in the regime in Pyongyang.

The dispatch of the Carl Vinson does appear directly connected to various internal events scheduled in North Korea for this month.

Deployed from San Diego to the western Pacific since January 5, the strike group has participated in numerous exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea Navy, various maritime security initiatives, and routine patrol operations in the South China Sea. If not, we will solve the problem without them!

"We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms", the foreign ministry spokesman said, according to KCNA.

At the closing of their first face-to-face meeting in Florida, President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping enthused about their new-found rapport.

On Wednesday, it launched a ballistic missile but the launch is believed to have ended in failure.

Last August, Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) 300 miles toward Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what Kim hailed as the "greatest success". "These are some of the questions that should be asked when it comes to Korea", he said. There were also about 50,000 military personnel based in Japan.

The meeting is being held at a time when North Korea is undergoing irreversible domestic changes, including the rapid growth of marketplaces where privatization is becoming the main source of livelihood for ordinary North Koreans.

  • Joanne Flowers