22:24 During a visit to Beijing next month, President Donald Trump will attempt to persuade China’s leader to do more to rein in North
In a bilateral meeting, Trump will also urge President Xi Jinping to fully implement sanctions by the United Nations Security Council against Pyongyang and to take steps that go beyond that, an official told reporters.
21:42 President Donald Trump plans to use his 12-day, five-nation Asia trip to encourage a tougher stance against the threat posed by North Korea, but he likely will not make the traditional presidential visit to the border between North and South Korea known as the Demilitarized Zone, Sun Herald reported.
The White House said Monday that Trump was invited by Korean president Moon Jae-in to visit Camp Humphreys, a military base about 40 miles south of Seoul, and that time constraints would likely not permit Trump to also travel to the border.
20:54 Aside from threatening nuclear war against the United States, North Korea is also suspected of secretly developing a vast biological-weapons program that could unleash fear and death in crowded cities, a Harvard University study warns.
"North Korea is likely to use biological weapons before or at the beginning of a conflict to disrupt society and create panic, incapacitate societies, and/or cause a significant military diversion," said the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.
20:22 Popular NBC News show “Morning Joe” went nuclear Monday morning as hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski openly talked about their fear of a US war with North Korea, The Wrap reported.
Brzezinski — as is her custom — went further, saying she believed Trump was “excited” about the prospect of conflict and of deploying the US nuclear arsenal to settle the dispute with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“I just think he wants to use nukes, that’s what I think he feels,” said Brzezinski. “You’ve heard him over the past year. He’s excited about the concept.”
19:49 China on Monday defended its growing trade with North Korea as permitted by UN Security Council sanctions that say they should avoid hurting “humanitarian needs”, Associated Press reported.
China, North Korea’s main trading partner, “strictly implements” sanctions aimed at stopping the North’s pursuit of nuclear and missile technology, said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.
Customs data shows Chinese exports to North Korea rose 31.4 percent in August from a year earlier, while imports fell 9.5 percent. Beijing has pointed out the sanctions don’t prohibit food sales and argued against measures that might harm the North Korean public.
19:04 British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called on North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un to negotiate over his nuclear ambitions but warned the rogue state a nuclear pre-emptive strike remains a possibility, Sky News reported.
Boris Johnson said he backed a series of 'commitments' made by South Korea and the US Secretary of State's efforts to talk, making it clear the UK did not seek to bring about regime change.
18:41 UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today agreed to maintain pressure on North Korea following the Japanese Prime Minister’s re-election.
The two leaders vowed to continue working with the international community to tackle Kim Jong Un’s “destabilising activity”, a Downing Street spokesman revealed.
18:02 The US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991, Defense One reported.
That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of Barksdale Air Force Base’s 11,000-foot runway could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.
17:09 The threat from North Korea has grown to a critical and imminent level and the United States, Japan and South Korea need to take different responses to address it, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told his US and South Korean counterparts on Monday.
16:35 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised strong "counter-measures" against North Korea, after winning a decisive victory in Sunday's election, BBC reported.
The prime minister had earlier called for the existence of the country's armed forces to be formalised, a controversial move which he says is needed to strengthen Japan's defence but which critics say is a step towards re-militarisation.
16:15 Southeast Asian defence ministers on Monday expressed “grave concern” over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and urged the reclusive country to meet its international obligations and resume communications, reports Reuters.
North Korea is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the US mainland and has ignored all calls, even from its lone major ally, China, to rein in its weapons programmes which it conducts in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
Defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in a joint statement, underscored the “need to maintain peace and stability in the region” and called “for the exercise of self-restraint and the resumption of dialogue to de-escalate tensions in the Korean peninsula”.13:15 President Donald Trump boasted that the US is "prepared for anything" when it comes to the North Korea nuclear crisis and emphasized the importance of China's role during an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo broadcast on Sunday morning, reports CNN.
Trump further praised China's actions on North Korea, adding that he and Xi have an "exceptional relationship."
12:08 UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson is to hail the importance of coordinated international diplomacy to counter the threat from nuclear weapons and North Korea in a speech to stake out a position at clear odds with the more bellicose rhetoric of Donald Trump, reports The Guardian.
While Johnson will stress that the US president has “an absolute duty” to prepare for a possible military option if North Korea is about to attack the United States, the foreign secretary will say diplomatic efforts must be paramount.
In a speech to be made on Monday to the annual conference of the Chatham House thinktank in London, Johnson will single out for praise Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, who has annoyed Trump by pushing for dialogue with Pyongyang.
09:41 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.
Abe and Trump spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election on Sunday, reports Reuters.
18:36 US President Donald Trump is expected to pressure China’s president when they meet next month in Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea out of a belief that Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power should give him more authority to do so, reports Reuters. Trump leaves November 3 on a trip that will take him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. It will be his first tour of Asia since taking power in January and one with a major priority: Preventing the standoff with North Korea from spiralling out of control.
Xi is immersed in a Communist Party Congress expected to culminate in him consolidating his control and potentially retaining power beyond 2022, when the next Congress takes place. Trump believes that Xi should have even more leverage to work on the North Korea problem. “The president’s view is you have even less of an excuse now,” said one official. “He’s not going to step lightly.”
17:25 Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with Washington about its nuclear program, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday, declaring that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for North Korea, the RIA news agency reported. Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s foreign ministry, told a non-proliferation conference in Moscow Washington would “have to put up” with North Korea’s nuclear status. “This is a matter of life and death for us. The current situation deepens our understanding that we need nuclear weapons to repel a potential attack. We will respond to fire with fire.”
21:54 Vietnam has expelled the representative of North Korea's Wonyang Shipping Corporation and denied visas to more than 20 North Korean IT workers.
In a move that reflects Hanoi's displeasure with Pyongyang, Vietnam continues to turn away North Koreans who could be earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong-un regime, Yonhap reported today.
21:37 Russian forces in the Pacific today launched a joint drill with India off the coast of its border with North Korea, according to Russian state-run news agency Itar-Tass.The Indra-2017 exercise, which will draft a total of 700 ground troops from both countries and 50 aircraft including warplanes and helicopters, kicked off with a ceremony in Russia’s Vladivostok, the capital of its Primorye region.
21:32 A North Korea diplomat has said the country's ballistic nuclear weapons programme is non-negotiable.
Choe Son-hui said the US should "be prepared to co-exist with" a nuclear North Korea. She said it was "the only way to secure lasting peace on the Korean peninsula".21:28
— FDD (@FDD) October 19, 2017
21:24 Read this interesting piece by Gulf News on how Kim Jong-un's seemingly erratic actions are, in fact, moves in a very well-planned long-term game.
21:08 North Korea is distributing live ammunition to soldiers and security personnel, the Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday.
"Live ammunition is being distributed to members of the military... to counter any threats that may arise from the exercises off the Korean Peninsula," the newspaper said citing a source. "They have been effectively placed on a quasi-war footing."
20:56 The majority of Americans believe diplomacy is the best way to ease tensions with North Korea, according to a new poll released Thursday.
Sixty-four percent of people disagree with President Trump’s claim that Secretary of State Tillerson is “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump’s nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, New York Daily News reported.
20:50 In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted yesterday, it was found that as many as 46 percent of all Republicans are in favour of a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, despite the risk of a nuclear rebuttal.
In contrast, 41 percent said they did not support a pre-emptive strike.
20:44 North Korea’s nuclear tests are not only raising fears around the world, they are causing the peak under which the bombs are being detonated to suffer “tired mountain syndrome.”
Analysts are seeing signs that Mount Mantap, the 7,200-foot-high peak under which the tests are conducted, is suffering from the geologic malady, the Washington Post reported.20:29
#Jepang North Korea missile alert manga produced by Japanese government office https://t.co/fG0MZOa5CK pic.twitter.com/3mezcZiWGY— Jepang.net (@jepangnet) October 18, 2017