Carrier group heads for Korean waters as Trump calls leaders

Trevor Jackson
May 1, 2017

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person strong Korean People's Army.

There has been no let-up in the tit-for-tat taunts between the Trump administration and North Korea, as tensions continue to boil over the nation's nuclear weapons program.

USA military vehicle moves past banners opposing a plan to deploy an advanced US missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, as South Korean police officers stand guard in Seongju, South.

Confusion had clouded the carrier's whereabouts earlier this month after United States officials indicated it was sailing towards North Korea when in fact it was heading south.

Instead, the big day was marked with North Korea's "largest-ever" firing drill, according to a government source speaking to the South's Yonhap News Agency.

Separately, envoys from South Korea, Japan and the USA have been meeting in Tokyo to discuss North Korea's refusal to abandon its nuclear program.

Some analysts voiced concerns Trump was backing himself into a corner with his fierce rhetoric on North Korea, leading both countries to a point where "bad things are going to happen".

While the North fired weapons near the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the US and South Korea conducted drills off the west coast.

Washington has sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula, where it is expected to arrive - after a derision-provoking delay - later this week.

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The Soviet Union controlled the territory in the north and the Americans controlled the south.

China, meanwhile, appears to have cut off or threatened to cut off oil supplies to North Korea as well as massing troops at the border and increasing diplomatic pressure.

On Monday, Trump called North Korea a global threat and "a problem that we have to finally solve" and said the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions.

US representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea.

Searches on Air China's website on Tuesday showed the carrier will have one flight a week, on Fridays, for the first two weeks of May, and after that, two flights a week, on Monday and Friday.

Japan's early-warning systems, more regularly used to alert against earthquakes and tsunami threats, will announce an impending missile strike via loudspeakers, mobile phone messages, and TV and radio reports.

"The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the worldwide community but also our country", the Japanese leader told reporters in Tokyo afterwards. The key, Graham added, is to make North Korea realize there's a "new sheriff in town".

Last year, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests, which would have improved its knowledge in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

North Korea put on a muscle-flexing display of artillery power Tuesday to mark a national holiday and thumb its nose at US President Donald Trump's declaration that the country has "gotta behave".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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