March 22 2018

United States readies for North Korea Battle - Tests Missile Defence System

March 22 2018, 03:55 | Van Peters

United States readies for North Korea Battle - Tests Missile Defence System

Pedestrians walk past an electronic board showing the exchange rate between the yen and the U.S. dollar outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo Japan

North Korea on Tuesday flew a potentially nuclear-capable Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile over northern Japan and later called it a "meaningful prelude" to containing the US territory of Guam.

The close co-operation between our two countries is particularly important at this critical juncture, with North Korean provocation presenting an unprecedented threat to worldwide security.

"We're going to ask for transparency and predictability so as to minimise the impact on (our) companies", a Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of European affairs said ahead of May's visit. "The world has received North Korea's latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations and for minimum standards of acceptable worldwide behavior", said Trump in a statement.

KCNA said earlier that the missile launch was timed to mark the 107th anniversary of the "disgraceful" Japan-Korea treaty of 1910, under which Tokyo colonised the Korean peninsula.

Gen. Terrence J. O' Shaughnessy, commander of US Pacific Air Forces, reaffirmed his troops' commitment to the defense of the allies.

North Korea also chose not to fire its most recent missile at a lofted angle, as it did in previous launches to avoid other countries, and Seoul's spy service said the North launched from an unusual spot: the worldwide airport in its capital, Pyongyang. According to South Korean data, China supplies about 500,000 tons of crude oil annually.

The test was meant to send a message the reclusive state might also send projectiles near Guam as it threatened earlier this month.

This prompted President Donald Trump to say the "100 percent with Japan".

In July 2016, Washington and Seoul reached an agreement on placing a US THAAD system in South Korean territory.

The North, which claims Washington has long threatened Pyongyang by flaunting the powerful U.S. nuclear arsenal, describes the long-range B-1Bs as "nuclear strategic bombers" although the United States no longer arms them with nuclear weapons.

The new missile launch comes as North Korea wants to take its complaints about the war games to the UN Security Council, saying the annual manoeuvres are recklessly provocative at a time of tension.

Stephen Nagy, a senior associate professor of global relations at Tokyo's worldwide Christian University, agrees that the speed and altitude of the North Korean missile made any attempt to bring it down "extremely challenging".

However, the deals ended after the Cold War, and North Korea's oil consumption dropped from 76,000 barrels per day in 1991 to an estimated 15,000 in 2016, the EIA reports.

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