Relations with North Korea are reaching a tipping point. President Donald Trump has responded to increased missile tests by ordering a naval strike group into the region. This provocation has infuriated North Korea, who may be planning to test a nuclear device as part of a commemoration celebration this Saturday.
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Saturday North Korea will celebrate the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-Sung. This celebration, called “The Day of the Sun,” is an annual event marked with military parades and demonstrations of North Korean military capabilities. It is widely expected that this year’s event will include a nuclear test.
This test would be the sixth nuclear test for the country. U.S. intelligence has analyzed satellite data that shows activity at the Punggye-ri testing site. 38 North, a U.S. research institute monitoring North Korea, announced the findings Wednesday.
North Korean officials are not hiding the upcoming tests. Journalists inside North Korea were alerted to a “big and important event” coming soon.
Any escalations of the conflict between the United States and North Korea would have disastrous consequences for South Korea, and the administration of that country is trying to keep the rhetoric calm. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon gave a news conference in which he noted that South Korea sees no signs that the North may be preparing for nuclear tests, or any other actions intended to provoke the US.
Stateside, President Trump has engaged in a most complex foreign policy test. The missile attack on Syria, which happened while Chinese President Xi Jingping was visiting with President Trump, was seen by many as a show of force meant more for China than for Syria.
China remains allied with North Korea, and Trump has asked Xi Jingping to use China’s influence to resolve this conflict peacefully.
“China insists on realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula … and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with the American side over the issue on the peninsula,” Xi told Chinese media.
Trump may not wait for China to act, though. If Kim Jong –Un’s regime continues with nuclear tests and missile launches, Trump may well act alone.
North Korea isn’t backing down. State run media announced Monday that the country will “hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences” of the Vinson strike group’s arrival in the waters off the Korean Peninsula.
Is there something brewing, or is this just North Korean hype? Media inside North Korea is trying to keep everyone calm, as this video below shows.