North Korea Threatens To Sink U.S. Carrier; China Urges Restraint

Image USS Carl Vinson on a scheduled western Pacific deployment

"That's my fault on the confusion and I'll take the hit for it", Admiral Harry Harris, who heads the U.S. military's Pacific Command, told lawmakers.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his counterparts from allies Japan and South Korea and was set to chair a ministerial meeting of the U.N.'s top decision-making body.

Al Jazera also reported that two Japanese destroyers, the Samidare and Ashigara, were joining the U.S. armada. "Restricting ourselves with funding uncertainties reduces war-fighting readiness, so I urge Congress to repeal sequestration and approve the proposed Defense Department budget".

Ojea noted increased tensions caused by North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and the deployment of a USA aircraft carrier group in the region. Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, inspected the drill, Yonhap News Agency said.

China, North Korea's sole major ally which nevertheless objects to its weapons development, has repeatedly called for calm, and its envoy for Korean affairs, Wu Dawei, was in Tokyo on Tuesday.

"But North Korea has to decide they're ready to talk to us about the about the right agenda, and the right agenda is not simply stopping where they are for a few more months or a few more years and then resuming things", he said. He said he only had 50% of the submarines he sought for the region - "We need more submarines", he said bluntly - and that he saw a need for more interceptors deployed in California and Alaska to defend against potential North Korean missiles.

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan in what was described as a routine visit to rest the crew and load supplies.

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Trump said in the interview he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the THAAD, which he estimated at US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion). He also said he's been skeptical of China's willingness to exert its influence over North Korea and convince Pyongyang to pull back from the brink.

The "USS Carl Vinson" and several other US Navy ships - along with two Japanese maritime ASDF destroyers, "Samidare" and "Ashigara" - also took part in the Thursday drills.

The combat exercise was carried out east of Okinawa prefecture and involved two Japanese F-15 fighters with two of the US Navy. The test shot, fired in commemoration of the 105th birthday of North Korean founding father Kim Il Sung, failed "almost immediately", officials tracking the launch at U.S. Pacific Command said at the time.

Harris said North Korea's pursuit of an atomic arsenal and the long-range missiles to deliver nuclear weapons comes at the expense of the North Korean people, who are isolated and forced to live with a lifeless economy. North Korea did launch a missile on April 16, but it exploded within seconds. "North Korea's capabilities are not yet an existential threat to America, but if left unchecked, it will eventually match the capability to hostile rhetoric", he added. He dangled the possibility of counteracting "North Korean aggression with military action if necessary", a threat Trump administration officials had been unusually vocal in making until recent days.

Wednesday's briefing on the situation in North Korea will be attended by every US senator.

USA representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea.

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