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US to Work with China on Developing Options to Deal with North Korea | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Vice President Pence shakes hands with U.S. military officers upon his arrival at army base Camp Bonifas in Paju near the truce village of Panmunjom during a visit to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea on April 17. (Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Seoul, Washington – Few hours after North Korea executed its failed missile launch experiment, US President Donald Trump’s Security Adviser Herbert McMaster said that US is working with its allies, the Chinese authorities, to develop a range of options to deal with North Korea.

Speaking on ABC News “This Week” program on Sunday, General McMaster said that the US will not accept for itself or its allies to be under nuclear threat from North Korea.

The relations between the United States and Russia have reached the lowest point, so they can only improve, McMaster said.

“Well, when relations are at the lowest point, there’s nowhere to go but up,” he explained.

The advisor reiterated China’s worrisome of the current situation, saying that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are working together. He welcomed Xi’s courage adding that China had already started applying pressure on Pyongyang, refusing coal imports from North Korea

McMaster pointed out that it was also necessary “to find areas of cooperation.”

McMaster said that the main idea is to stop the North’s weapons development and make the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free: “It’s clear that the president is determined not to allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States. And our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people.”

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday described North Korea’s failed missile test as “a provocation” that highlighted the risks plaguing both the region and the United States.

Speaking at an Easter dinner at Yongsan military base in Seoul, South Korea, where he was beginning a 10-day tour of Asia, Pence said: “This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world.”

Pence conveyed Trump’s message to the troops stationed in South Korea, which are 28,500 soldiers. Trump said:“Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires the nation and inspires the world. We’re proud of you and we’re grateful for your service.”

The failed launch of nearly 60 missiles, including what is suspected to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile, came a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year; celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim II Sung, the current leader’s grandfather.

A US Defense official said that North Korea attempted to test an unidentified type of missile from Sinpo area in the South Hamkyong Province, but the launch has failed.

“The missile blew up almost immediately,” said David Benham, a spokesman with the US Pacific Command. “The type of missile is still being assessed.”

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement which said that North Korea showed a variety of offensive missiles at the military parade and dared to fire a ballistic missile which is a show of force that threatens the whole world.

Pyongyang doesn’t hide its attempts to develop missiles capable of reaching US soil and constantly says that its nuclear and ballistic programs are in response to US threats.

Experts expect North Korea to do a sixth nuclear test.

US decided to send the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier towards the Korean Peninsula. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its group are believed to be in waters around the East China Sea, heading north toward the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence told reporters that the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded about 4 to 5 seconds after it was launched.

North Korea’s military threatened a “merciless” response to any US provocation, as the country’s Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said on Friday they are ready to go to war if that is what US President Donald Trump wants.

Analysts at 38 North site, a program devoted to analysis of the country at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, showed activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site which suggest the country is preparing for another nuclear test.

Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on its website saying that China is ready to coordinate closely with Russia to help cool down as soon as possible the situation on the peninsula and encourage the parties concerned to resume dialogue.

Experts believe that North Korea would need two years to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, adding that the fact the Pyongyang owns ballistic missiles that can be launched from submarine will enhance its nuclear deterrence capabilities.