|FILE - U.S. and South Korean army soldiers pose on a floating bridge on the Hantan River during a joint military exercise against a possible attack from North Korea, in Yeoncheon, South Korea, Dec. 10, 2015. Full US Review of Policy Toward North Korea ExpectedFebruary 23, 2017 4:30 PM|
STATE DEPARTMENT — The Trump White House has ordered a review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, looking at all the options Washington has for its future dealings with Pyongyang and the Kim Jong Un regime, well-informed diplomatic sources told VOA this week. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed the threat posed by North Korea as recently as Tuesday in his conversation with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi. Tillerson did not answer a question posed by VOA on the status of the policy review on Wednesday during his meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. For more go to https://www.voanews.com/a/full-united-states-review-policy-toward-north-korea-expected/3737223.html
Is the war-waging US moving in for the kill in the Korean peninsula?
And, it’s just not only tensions - the US military appears to have started physically moving in into the SCS.
I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road has taken the initiative to compile the latest news and developments in the SCS for the easy reading of One Belt One Road (OBOR) followers.
Here’s the compilation:
“Exclusive - U.S. warship sails near islands Beijing claims in South China Sea: U.S. officials
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017
6:09 AM MYT
The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters. But it was not as provocative as previous ones carried out since Trump took office in January.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Chafee, a guided-missile destroyer, carried out normal manoeuvring operations that challenged "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbours.
Next month, Trump makes his first visit to Asia as president, including a stop in China, which he has been pressuring to do more to rein in North Korea. China is North Korea's neighbour and biggest trading partner.
Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognised territorial limits. Sailing within that range is meant to show the United States does not recognise territorial claims.
The Pentagon did not comment directly on the operation, but said the United States carried out regular freedom-of-navigation operations and would continue to do so.
In the past, China has objected to such U.S. operations, saying they harmed Chinese sovereignty and security.
China’s claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in shipborne trade passes each year are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Experts and some U.S. officials have criticized former President Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China’s claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognised a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping.
The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and that they are separate from political considerations.
The United States has said it would like to see more international participation in freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea.
NORTH KOREA ISSUE
Trump's trip to Asia will likely be dominated by the North Korean nuclear threat. He will also visit South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In recent weeks, North Korea launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, all in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and may be fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Trump’s visit to China will reciprocate a trip to the United States made in April by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The U.S. president's attempts to get Chinese help with North Korea have met with limited success so far, but he has gone out of his way to thank Xi for his efforts.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Peter Cooney) - The Star Online
Two U.S. B-1 bombers conduct training mission in vicinity of Sea of Japan
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017
7:51 AM MYT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. B-1 bombers carried out a training exercise on Tuesday with Japanese and South Korean military aircraft in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan, the U.S. military said, amid growing tension over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh) - The Star Online
U.N. bans four ships over North Korea coal, U.S. delays four more
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017
6:14 AM MYT
by michelle nichols
The vessels are the first to be designated under stepped-up sanctions imposed on North Korea by the 15-member council in August and September over Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear test and two long-range ballistic missile launches.
The Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which operates by consensus, agreed at the request of the United States, to blacklist the ships on Oct. 3 for "transporting prohibited items from the DPRK" (North Korea), according to documents seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
A U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the four blacklisted ships and the four vessels still being investigated had been linked to illicit trade in North Korean coal. In November last year, the Security Council capped North Korean coal exports and then in August imposed a complete ban.
The Jie Shun was intercepted by Egypt on Aug. 11, 2016, carrying 30,000 rocket propelled grenades in wooden crates concealed under about 2,300 tonnes of iron ore, according to U.N. sanctions monitors.
It was "the largest interdicted ammunition consignment in the history of sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the independent sanctions monitors told the Security Council in their annual report in February.
The ship had left the North Korean port of Haeju on July 23, 2016, and was interdicted in Egyptian territorial waters south of the Suez Canal, the experts said.
North Korea is under a U.N. arms embargo and the Security Council has banned trade in exports such as coal, textiles, seafood, iron and other minerals to choke funding for Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.
In an Oct. 3 note to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, seen by Reuters, the United States said it was withdrawing four ships it had proposed for listing - the South Korean-flagged Xin Shen Hai, the Palau-flagged East Glory 7, the Panama-flagged Kai Xiang and Cheng Hong.
"These four ships require further study with key parties and we will revert to the committee once that process is completed," the U.S. mission to the United Nations wrote.
A ninth ship, the Fiji-flagged Toyo Maru, had been proposed for listing in an annex to the initial U.S. draft of a resolution adopted by the Security Council on Sept. 11. It was not clear if the United States still planned to put the ship forward for designation.
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted nine sanctions resolutions on North Korea since 2006.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool and Tom Brown) - The Star Online"
|Experts agree: U.S. military action against North Korea won’t work|
ROK, Japanese analysts see a pre-emptive strike against the North as far too risky
March 14th, 2017
While the Trump administration explores options, including use of military force, to counter North Korea’s increasing threat, South Korean and Japanese experts see military options against North Korea as all-but-impossible. They say that any U.S. military action against North Korea entails high damage risks on South Korea and Japan, and that the U.S. will be forced to shelf plans for military intervention eventually. The new strategies toward North Korea that are being reviewed internally by the White House include the possibility of regime change and the use of military force to weaken the North Korean nuclear threat, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 1, quoting a source familiar with the review … for more go to https://www.nknews.org/2017/03/experts-agree-u-s-military-action-against-north-korea-wont-work/