UPDATE 2 — 9/5, 5:47 p.m. EDT: Speaking to the UN’s Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Tuesday, North Korean ambassador Han Tae Song said he was “proud” of Pyongyang’s recent test of a hydrogen bomb, calling it an act of self-defense.
“The recent self-defense measures by my country, DPRK, are a ‘gift package’ addressed to none other than the U.S.,” he said. “The U.S. will receive more ‘gift packages’ from my country as long as its relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK.”
Responding to the provocative language, U.S. ambassador to the conference, Robert Wood, said: “With regard to the so-called gift packages that the North is presenting, my recommendation to the North would be, instead of spending inordinate amounts of money on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, that it give its people the gift package of peace with their neighbors, economic development and an opportunity to rejoin the family of nations.”
UPDATE — 9/5, 11:12 a.m. EDT: President Trump tweeted Tuesday the U.S. is now offering to sell Japan and South Korea “a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment”, following rising tensions in East Asia due to North Korea’s recent nuclear test.
Also on Tuesday, South Korea announced President Moon Jae-in and Trump made a verbal agreement Monday to end the weight limit on missile warheads, giving Seoul the ability to invoke more damage on North Korea with an ICBM strike.
North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear device on Sunday, a test which followed Pyongyang’s admission it had achieved a breakthrough in the development of hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on an ICBM.
Experts estimate the blast yield exceeded 100 kilotons, 10 times the strength of previous tests conducted by the North.
Broadcasting the triumph of the underground test, state-run KCNA news agency described a “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM, ”adding that the test virtually guaranteed successful operation of a warhead.
So powerful was the blast at the Punggye-ri test site, the U.S. Geological Survey revealed it triggered two earthquakes, the first of which was measured as a magnitude-6.3.
The global response to North Korea’s latest provocation was swift and clear.
While condemning the test, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping urged caution and recommended exploring all diplomatic avenues to avert “chaos on the Korean Peninsula.”
“The two leaders agreed to stick to the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to maintain close communication and coordination to deal with the new situation,” read a joint statement issued by Beijing.
Describing the test as North Korea “begging for war,” UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council the U.S. was exploring further sanctions and would draft a resolution aimed at penalizing countries which continued to conduct trade with North Korea.
Defense Secretary Jame Mattis issued a more direct threat, putting “total annihilation” of the entire country on-the-table after Sunday.
One day earlier, President Trump spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a conversation which produced a mutual agreement for the South Korean military to remove payload restrictions on its missile stockpile.
Trump also announced the White House would weigh cutting commerce with nations involved with North Korea altogether, which currently includes both Russia and China.
The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
Despite firm talk from the UN, the White House, the Kremlin, and Beijing, the most serious debate occurred in Tokyo. Following two tests over the last 10 days, one missile and one nuclear blast, conversation in Japan now involves adopting a preemptive-strike policy to combat North Korean recklessness.
Even with an increased level of seriousness with which global allies are taking North Korea now, the South’s Defense Ministry said Monday it has detected activity suggesting Pyongyang will conduct another ballistic missile launch in the near-future, likely by the end of the week.
[The Independent] [RT News] [AP] [The Times] [The Hill] [Wall Street Journal] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Natural News]