US, Japan conduct air exercise over East China Sea

In the wake of North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, the US delegation to the United Nations has circulated a draft resolution that would ban all exports of natural gas and oil to the country, as well as freeze assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government around the globe.

North Korea is under mounting global pressure over its missile and military nuclear programs and has been subjected to an array of United Nations sanctions.

The North said last month that it had drawn up plans to simultaneously launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into waters near Guam, with a flight plan that would see them fly over Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures. The US has also demanded more sanctions, calling on Russian Federation to stop shipping oil to North Korea.

A tactical nuclear weapon, which is created to be used against battlefield targets, generally travels across short ranges and carries a low-yield warhead. The fighters and bombers later linked up over the Korean Peninsula with South Korean Air Force F-15Ks for a flight and bomb-dropping exercise simulating precision strikes against the North’s “core facilities”, according to the U.S. Pacific Command and South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

A senior administration official said the US was still assessing last weekend’s underground explosion but so far noted nothing inconsistent with Pyongyang’s claim. KCNA said in a commentary also on Saturday that the US was resorting to sanctions and pressure rather than seeking talks.

The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on a draft sanctions resolution proposed by the USA on Monday that has tougher measures including an oil embargo and freeze of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s assets.

The proposed resolution would mark the first time Kim’s assets have been personally targeted by economic sanctions. Observers have said Beijing might agree to just a partial, or temporary, oil exports ban. The United States came to the aid of South Korea while China helped the north, with some assistance from the Soviet Union.

Nikki Haley speaks during a UN Security Council emergency meeting on September 4.

The US has also been holding joint military drills with South Korea.

“Military action would certainly be an option”, Trump told a White House news conference.

He declined to say if he’d accept a nuclear-armed North Korea that can be successfully deterred from using such weapons. The country is now reported to have missiles capable of delivering miniaturised nuclear warheads to the United States mainland.

In 1950 war broke out when North Korea crossed the 38th parallel to invade the south.

Onodera on Sunday called on Japanese lawmakers to agree to the government’s request for a record defense budget next fiscal year.

“The minister also noted that Pyongyang’s next step might be a test of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)”. “If Japan can be properly protected as such, we should adopt such a system as soon as possible”, Onodera said.

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