The situation with North Korea intensified further last week, after Kim Jong-Un conducted another successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile traveled in the air for 45 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan. The latest test appeared to demonstrate a rapid acceleration of North Korea’s nuclear program, renewing fears that the ICBM’s could reach even more of the U.S. mainland.

Photo credit: Q13-Fox

The test prompted a stern warning from President Donald Trump and a show of force from Pentagon officials. On Sunday, the U.S. military flew two B1B supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula, in a joint exercise with Japan’s military. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said China, Japan, and South Korea need to do more to address the threat.

On Twitter, Haley said the United States was “done talking” about North Korea, which was “not only a U.S. problem.” While urging South Korea and Japan to exert more pressure on Pyongyang, Haley also said that “China must act.” China has condemned North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear technology, but has failed to impose sanctions that would deter continued development of the program. Instead, China encouraged all parties to show restraint. “At the same time, China hopes all parties act with caution, to prevent tensions from continuing to escalate,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

President Trump expressed his frustration over China’s lax response to the threat on Twitter. “Very disappointed in China,” said the president referencing trade deficits with the country. “NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue.” A similar drill was conducted back in May, when the U.S. joined air forces from both South Korea and Japan.

“These flights demonstrate the solidarity between South Korea, the United States, and Japan to defend against North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions,” Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told Reuters. The North Korean government called the military training “an impressive act of military provocation again” on its state-run news network, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

 

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