South Korea and China made a new agreement to slap tough sanctions on North Korea if it carries out their long-range missile or nuclear tests. This is according to a senior official from Seoul as a strike group of the US Navy made their way in the region to show power.
This month, North Korea is celebrating several major anniversaries. The country is known to mark occasions with major military hardware tests.
The possibility that the US might take military action to respond to the tests of North Korea has been gaining traction since the strikes against Syria last week. Previously, the White House leaned towards pressure and sanctions in order to deter Pyongyang. However, comments that were made by the top aides of President Trump last weekend suggested that the United States’ position is hardening.
Nevertheless, chief nuclear envoy of South Korea, Kim Hong-kyun, said that military options were not discussed during the talks with Wu Dawei, China’s Special Rep. for Korean Peninsula Affairs. Furthermore, it was said that the two did not talk about a possible strike to be made by the US government against North Korea. It is possible that the US does not consider North Korea to be a legitimate threat.
In an interview, Kim told the reporters that both sides will take strong additional measures but they will still be within the security council resolutions of the UN. Of course, this will only happen if the North makes strategic provocations, including said ICBM launch and a nuclear test.
Kim went on by saying that both sides will adopt a much stronger UN resolution in the event that North Korea conducts additional weapons tests. As for Wu, he refused to speak to any of the reporters.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that Trump’s action against Syria serves as a warning to other countries. Tillerson claims that a response is likely to be given if danger is present.
On an interview with CBS, Tillerson said that the President of China, Xi Jinping, understands and agrees that the situation with North Korea has intensified. In lieu of the fact that it has become a major threat, action may now be a necessity.
The Carl Vinson strike group of the US Navy has recently canceled a trip to Australia. Instead, it moved towards the Pacific Ocean close to the Korean Peninsula in the attempt to show force. As told by a US official, they felt the need to increase US navy presence in the area.
Trump and Xi of China met in Florida just last week. Trump reportedly pressed his counterpart to take action in curbing the nuclear program of North Korea. China is the main economic and diplomatic ally of North Korea.
Wu’s recent trip to South Korea was his first. This is also the first time that a senior Chinese official visited the country after the deployment of the US missile defense system, THAAD, led to a row between Seoul and Beijing. Kim said that Wu reiterated the position of China on the deployment of THAAD. Kim, however, did not give further details.