North Korea Declares Start of Pacific Offensive Amid Missile Standoff

Saul Bowman
September 5, 2017

In a statement, US Pacific Command said the flyover was a "direct response to North Korea's intermediate range ballistic missile launch".

President Moon Jae-in convened a National Security Council (NSC) session Sunday, shortly after South Korea's weather agency detected a magnitude 5.7 natural disaster from North Korea's nuclear test site in a sign of another strategic provocation.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled around 2,700km and reached a maximum height of 550km as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

North Korea has "further upgraded its technical performance at a higher ultra-modern level on the basis of previous successes made in the first H-bomb test", the KCNA said.

South Korea's military also called the tremor "artificial" and added it was analyzing whether a nuclear test took place. More missile tests, more bomber flyovers and three angry armies facing each other across the world's most heavily armed border raises the possibility that a miscalculation could lead to real fighting.

In Beijing, North Korea's ally China warned that war is not an option in finding a solution to the North's growing nuclear capabilities.

South Korea's weather agency estimated the nuclear blast yield of the presumed test was between 50 and 60 kilotons, or five to six times stronger than North Korea's fifth test in September 2016.

Guam has always been a focal point of North Korea's anger against the U.S. and is often a target of North Korean saber-rattling.


Abe also told newsmen that Trump said the U.S. was 100 percent with Japan.

Pyongyang test-fired two missiles last month that experts say could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States.

Earlier President Trump called for China to join them in their battle against North Korea.

The agency added that the US and South Korea were "taken aback" by North Korea's recent missile launch, the country's "first military operation in the Pacific".

South Korea's main spy agency has previously asserted that it does not think Pyongyang now has the ability to develop miniaturized nuclear weapons that can be mounted on long-range ballistic missiles.

Speaking Thursday, General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea, said this was taken into consideration.

Defectors who try to re-enter North Korea face up to seven years' imprisonment for violating South Korea's national security law. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong and the trade pact's joint steering committee participated in a one-day videoconference that ended without a decision on the next steps for possible revisions.

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