China, Russia begin naval drills close to North Korea

Posted September 23, 2017

The worldwide community is scrambling to contain an increasingly belligerent Pyongyang, which has conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test and fired long-range missiles over Japan that it says could reach the United States mainland.

The U.S. military sent four of its most advanced stealth fighter jets, along with two heavy bombers, for joint drills with Japanese and South Korean warplanes near Japan and over the Korean Peninsula on Monday in a "show of force" after North Korea's missile launch over Hokkaido three days earlier.

Earlier, the top USA diplomat gave an interview to the program Face the Nation on CBS saying that "if our diplomatic efforts (on North Korea) fail though, our military option will be the only one left". It also has threatened to launch missiles close to the coast of Guam, a USA island territory in the Pacific.

She confirmed President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury" towards North Korea was no bluff, days before he is due to speak to the UN General Assembly in NY on Tuesday. Another U.S. ally, Japan, said Wednesday that pressure, not dialogue, was needed.

The U.S. and South Korean planes practiced attacks by releasing live weapons at a firing range in South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.

The approval for the aid marked the first time since President Moon Jae-in's government took over in May. Many analysts expect North Korea to dominate Trump΄s speech on Tuesday night at the UN General Assembly.

The fear remains that Kim Jong Un may soon develop the ability to target the USA with a powerful, nuclear-tipped missile.

That same day the USA and South Korea flew eight fighter jets and two bombers over the Korean peninsula as a show of force, according to a South Korean defense ministry statement.

"Today the DPRK Ambassador has been summoned, the position of the Spanish government has been reiterated and the decision to consider him a persona non grata has been communicated to him, so he must cease his duties and leave the country before September 30", the Spanish Foreign Ministry statement reads, though the move was also announced on social media.

"Some related parties keep sending threatening messages both in words and deeds that include warnings of military actions to each other", ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular briefing.

China and Russian Federation have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also said in comments reported Monday by the Bild daily that the world should wait for the sanctions to bite, but that "visions and courageous steps" such as direct negotiations with North Korea are also needed.