Published: Tue, November 07, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Korea ready to 'warmly welcome' Trump, lay groundwork for stronger alliance

Korea ready to 'warmly welcome' Trump, lay groundwork for stronger alliance

Trump said before his trip that China could have a "big problem" with "warrior nation" Japan if the North Korea issue is not solved.

In Japan earlier Monday, Trump called Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions and weapons tests a "threat to the civilized world and worldwide peace and stability".

North Korea is prepared to use its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if war breaks out with the US and its allies, according to a letter Pentagon chiefs sent to lawmakers.

In defiance of global sanctions imposed to compel Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile development programs, North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles on August 29 and September 15 that flew over Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

Speaking at news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said: "We will not stand for that".

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"Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong, but look what's happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years, look where we are right now", he added.

The Pentagon letter to lawmakers also points out that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons despite its worldwide obligations, and is likely in possession of a chemical weapons stockpile. As soon as he set foot on the Yokota Air Base west of Tokyo, Japan, the president made his primary agenda behind his visit clear.

The US had put North Korea on the terror sponsor list in 1988 after the reclusive regime was accused of blowing up a South Korean civilian airliner in 1987, leading to the deaths of 115 people. "It was not pleasant for them, was it?" roared Trump.

Trump is expected to spend two days in South Korea, but is not expected to visit the DMZ, the border that has separated North and South Korea for 64 years, because "there is not enough time in the schedule", a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

And a high-profile defector last week said that North Korean military officers have been trained to trigger a devastating counterstrike if their country were attacked by the United States. "The only and one way for checking his rash act is to tame him with absolute physical power", KCNA's report said.

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The president's first stops are Japan and South Korea - frontline USA allies in the effort to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme, and the two countries with most to fear should a full-scale conflict break out. The U.S. has no energy to prevent it.

Meanwhile, South Korea has also begun tightening its measures against the Pyongyang by implementing sanctions against 18 North Koreans. This is part of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's efforts to sever ties so that North Korea can not financially benefit from the very countries it threatened to destroy.

In June, the Treasury Department declared the Bank of Dandong a "primary money laundering concern" for serving as a gateway for North Korea to access the U.S. and worldwide financial systems despite USA and United Nations sanctions.

The letter also said that Pentagon leaders "assess that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons" and that the country "has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents".

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