NORTH KOREA HAD FIRMED UP PLANS TO BUILD A NUCLEAR FORCE A YEAR AGO, WORLD INGORED WARNING SIGNALS

The article originally appeared on India Today.

North Korea is working to perfect its state nuclear force and its recent acts, including the successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launch and hydrogen bomb detonation, with provocative signals like more such “gift packages” are in the pipeline and the assertion that it is planning to strike the US military base in Guam suggest that it is successfully moving ahead in that direction.

That appears to be the case according to a release by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). According to a KCNA release available on North Korean media aggregators, North Korea is working to perfect its state nuclear force the blueprint was laid down during the Seventh Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea in May 2016. The WPK Congress had decided to advance its strategic targets and had vowed to work hard to build its nuclear force. The warning signals from North Korea was largely ignored by major world powers then.

On September 3, North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test yet when it claimed to successfully detonate a hydrogen bomb. Like it had done with its first ever successful ICBM test launch last month, the country felicitated the scientists involved in the operation and organized public event to celebrate its success.

According to the KCNA release, “the scientists visited the statues of former North Korean presidents Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to make a report about their success and vowed to successfully conclude their research and development campaign to attain the final-phase goals for perfecting the state nuclear force advanced at the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”

Currently, there are eight countries in the world possessing nuclear weapons. Five of them, US, Russia, UK, France and China, are nuclear weapon states who have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty NPT. Three other countries, India, Pakistan and North Korea, who are non-NPT signatories, have declared themselves as nuclear powers. Israel is also considered a nuclear power though it has never publicly accepted it.

But only four out of these eight declared nuclear powers, US, UK, Russia and France, have deployed strategic nuclear warheads on ICBMs and at heavy bomber bases, an analysis from the Federation of American Scientists published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says.

And North Korea’s provocations say it might go on to become the fifth country of the nuclear bloc to strategically deploy nuclear warheads with its repeated threats to target US territories.

Barring Pakistan and North Korea, all other nuclear powers are responsible countries. China, the only major ally of North Korea, even has no deployed strategic warheads the FAS analysis says. Pakistan is under heavy international scrutiny and pressure for its nuclear programme. Also, it is widely believed that North Korea got nuclear technology from Pakistan.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP SAYS MILITARY ACTION AGAINST N KOREA NOT FIRST CHOICE, DISCUSSES OPTIONS WITH XI JINPING

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged ideas for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis during a phone conversation, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported.

North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb on September 3, in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date. Pyongyang has warned of more ‘gift packages’ for Washington.

“President Xi stressed that China is committed towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and relies on dialogue and negotiations to appropriately resolve the issue,” CGTN said in a release

In response, Trump expressed deep concern over the North Korean threat, and pressed for more communication with China with a view to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.

MILITARY ACTION NOT FIRST CHOICE: TRUMP

Trump today said military action against North Korea isn’t the US’ first choice, and that he’d like to exhaust other options first, Reuters reported.

This is in stark contrast to Trump’s earlier remarks.

Last month, Trump had warned North Korea of “fire and fury” in case of a nuclear threat. He spoke of military action on different occasions, and said direct talks were “no more an option.”

On Tuesday, he even allowed US allies South Korea and Japan to buy more highly sophisticated US weapons.

But the opinion on action on North Korea has been highly divided and it might have pushed Trump to reconsider his options.

China and Russia do not favour the military option. Nor do the South Koreans, for that matter. All them are focussing on talks and sanctions.

Russia advocates a diplomatic approach, and has said the military hysteria surrounding North Korea could lead to a global catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the emergency UN Security Council meeting held after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test failed to reach a conclusion on a decisive action against Pyongyang.

©SantoshChaubey