Mattis: No need yet to shoot down NKorean missiles

The PAC-3 interceptors of the Air Self-Defense Force were transported to the Ground SDF’s Hakodate base, in case of another North Korean missile traveling over Hokkaido and missile debris possibly falling in and around the city.

Downing Street said “no-one wants to see military action” but “it would be wrong to rule anything out” and backed the United States president’s call for nations around the world to help deal with the rogue regime.

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley echoed McMaster’s strong rhetoric, even as Washington continued to emphasise that its preferred resolution to the crisis is through diplomacy and sanctions. The missile was sacked from Sunam near Pyongyang and flew 3,700 km with an altitude of 770 km and hit the targeted spot in the northern Pacific, according to earlier media reports.

South Korea’s top diplomat is pushing to have bilateral talks with major countries, including the United States and Japan, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this week, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

“Our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the United States and make the USA rulers dare not talk about military options”, Kim was quoted as saying. At the time, Bush saw it as a way of bolstering demands that North Korea not pursue its own nuclear weapons.

Seoul is within artillery range of North Korea, which beyond nuclear and conventional weapons is also believed to have a sizable chemical and biological arsenal.

He was referring to an accelerating series of missile tests by North Korea that have defied USA and global warnings to stop.

He was asked why the US, which has spent tens of billions of dollars on missile defense programs in recent decades, has not tried to intercept North Korea’s rockets as they demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated missile capability.

“The United States and its allies have not shot down any North Korean missiles because Pyongyang is yet to launch one that directly threatens the American or the Japanese territory”, Mattis said.

Pyongyang launched North Korea’s longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile on Saturday which flew over Japan landing in the northern Pacific Ocean after travelling 3700km.

South Korea’s Navy and the United States will hold a joint exercise next month involving “the U.S. carrier strike group”, assets including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and another which the United States is planning to send to waters near the peninsula. This weapon was sacked after six months of nuclear testing. Between late September and early October, the two allies will also conduct a combined missile alert drill joined by Japan.

It controls more than 90% of North Korea’s external trade, including its oil supplies, making them perfectly placed to put the kind of pressure on Kim Jong Un that will make him take notice.

The increasingly frequent and aggressive tests have added to outside fears that the North is closer than ever to building a military arsenal that could viably target the US and its allies in Asia. “Russian Federation is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor”, Tillerson said. He ordered officials to analyse and prepare for possible new North Korean threats, including electromagnetic pulse and biochemical attacks.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis acknowledged Monday that his South Korean counterpart defense minister inquired recently about reintroducing tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, a move that could take tensions with North Korea to a new high.

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