North Korea accuses U.S. of stoking nuclear war

The New York Times last month reported that under former president Barack Obama the USA stepped up cyber attacks against North Korea to try to sabotage its missiles before launch or just as they lift off. Last year, Japan had a $69 billion trade surplus with the United States, the U.S. Treasury Department said, expressing concern over what it called the "persistence" of the imbalance.

But Pence and South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, said they would proceed with the early deployment to South Korea of the U.S. THAAD missile-defense system, in spite of Chinese objections.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

In turn, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said North Korea's nuclear ambitions were a "serious threat to the peace and stability of our region".

There, during a trip to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and later in remarks to journalists, he issued strong warnings to Pyongyang.

Trump campaigned for office on an "America First" platform, saying he would boost US manufacturing jobs and shrink the country's trade deficit with countries like Japan.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and it showed no let-up in its defiance after conducting a reportedly failed missile test on Sunday.

What appeared to be new long-range ballistic missiles were on display in the parade.

Pence has repeatedly warned that "all options are on the table" when dealing with Pyongyang.

Pyongyang insists it needs a powerful arsenal - including atomic weapons - to protect itself from what it says is the ever-present threat of United States invasion. This will undoubtedly have consequences for diplomacy, but what those consequences will be with seemingly impulsive diplomatic mavericks - like Trump and Kim Jong-un - in control is impossible to say.

On the diplomatic front, the White House is looking to China, North Korea's primary trading partner, to turn up pressure on the north.

HONG DONG-WAN, South Korean College Student (through interpreter): In fact, I believe we have to strongly respond to North Korea's provocation.

"Any kind of action on North Korea will have repercussions on China", our correspondent said.

In recent weeks, the US and South Korea have been drilling for a possible military contingency on the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea has been testing weapons, as well as firing them off in rehearsals for strikes on enemy bases.

The world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing USA officials.

The United States, Pence said, would be unwavering in its alliances and unyielding in its resolve.

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development.

But North Korea used Chinese-made trucks to display missiles at the military parade on Saturday, according to photographs, underlining the difficulty in enforcing United Nations sanctions.

The North casts the U.S. as the aggressor.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the USA mainland, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering the necessary technology, including miniaturising a nuclear warhead.

  • Zachary Reyes