North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations Kim In ryong stated that the United States are provoking North Korea in an unprecedented way and he stated that Korea is right now “the world’s biggest hotspot” and he stated that North Korea has Nuclear warheads and is not afraid to use them if the United States and South Korea keeps provoking.
The Guardian newspaper reported that Kim’s warning came as the US vice-president, Mike Pence, assured Japan that Washington would work closely with its allies in the region to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis and denuclearise the Korean peninsula. “We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan,” Pence said during talks in Tokyo with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Tuesday. “We are with you 100%.”
Pence and Abe repeated calls for China to play a bigger role in reining in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. “While all options are on the table,” Pence said, “President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region, and with China.”
He added: “We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan, but as you know and the United States knows, peace comes through strength and we will stand strongly with Japan and strongly with our allies for a peace and security in this region.” Along with South Korea, Japan is particularly vulnerable to a North Korean attack as it is within range of the regime’s conventional weapons.
In another sign of how seriously Tokyo is taking the latest rise in tensions, Japan’s defence minister, Tomomi Inada, said Japan was prepared to send troops to evacuate Japanese citizens from South Korea if the situation on the peninsula became dangerous. Her remarks are likely to cause anger in South Korea, where memories of Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial occupation of the peninsula continue to cloud bilateral ties.
North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, Han Song-Ryol, told the BBC that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis”. All-out war would ensue if the US took military action, he said. The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, said he believed the US was seeking to ease tensions through multi-party talks, despite its repeated insistence that military action remains an option. “We know the situation is tense,” Wang said. “The more tense things are, the more calm we need to be to find the opportunities and possibilities for dialogue.”
The statements from the North Korean officials came as Trump told the government in Pyongyang that it has “gotta behave” and Pence said the “era of strategic patience is over”.