North Korea warns of nuclear war, Trump says US is ‘locked and loaded’: All that has happened so far

This combination of photos show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea, left, and US President Donald Trump in Washington on April 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Files) Related News

US President Donald Trump on Friday warned North Korea saying that military solutions against the nuclear-armed regime were “locked and loaded” for use if Pyongyang acted “unwisely”. Issuing an urgent warning to North Korea not to move ahead with its ballistic missile testing, President Trump tweeted, “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully, Kim Jong Un will find another path!” He also retweeted a US Pacific Command tweet of pictures showing US Air Force Bomber B-1B Lancers. The tweet by the Pacific Command read, “USAF B-1B Lancer bombers on Guam stand ready to fulfil USFK’s fight tonight mission if called upon to do so.”

The US president’s reactions came shortly after North Korean state news agency, KCNA, put out a statement blaming him for the escalated tensions and accused him of  “driving” the Korean peninsula to the “brink of a nuclear war”. The news agency said,”Trump is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war, making such outcries as ‘the US will not rule out a war against the DPRK.”

On Thursday, KCNA news agency said that its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam, to which Trump said Kim was not going to get away with his “horrific” comments and disrespecting America. “Let’s see what he does with Guam. He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen in North Korea,” Trump told.

Trump, who is currently at his Bedminster home in New Jersey, on a working vacation said, “We are backed 100 percent by our military. We are backed by everybody.. we’re backed by many other leaders. I noticed that many senators and others, today came out very much in favour of what I said. But, if anything, that statement may not be tough enough.”

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“The people of this country should be very comfortable, and I will tell you this if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about the attack on anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous,” Trump said.

“They should be very nervous because things will happen to them like they never thought possible. He (Kim) has been pushing the world around for a long time. I have great respect for what China and what Russia did, and we got a 15-to-nothing vote,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, in an exchange of threats, Trump warned North Korea that it would face “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it threatened the United States after Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, site of a US military base. Later, on Thursday, Trump amplified the warning, saying maybe his “fire and fury” threat “wasn’t tough enough.”

There has been an ongoing tension in the region since North Korea has staged two nuclear bomb tests last year and launched two intercontinental ballistic missile tests(ICBM) in July in defiance of world powers. Due to these rising tensions, Asian equity markets sank again on Friday and European stocks looked set for their worst week this year because.

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After the intensified tension between the United States and North Korea have affected the global market largely, Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney said, “What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the US and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can’t ignore it.”

Indian shares too saw a decline due to the rising tensions. The broader NSE index went down by 0.75 per cent at 9,746.50 at around 10:45 am (IST), seeing a fall of 1.2 per cent to its lowest in a month, news agency Reuters reported. The dollar widened losses against the yen to hit a two-month low. It was down 0.2 percent at 108.98 yen, after retreating 0.7 percent on Thursday.

Meanwhile, China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm. Beijing has reportedly expressed frustration with both Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as increasing tensions. China’s Foreign Ministry repeated a call for all parties to speak and act cautiously and do more to ease the situation, rather than going down the “old path” of exchanges of shows of force and continually rising tension.

Earlier on August 2, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent an open message to North Korea saying Washington was willing to talk to Pyongyang if it halted a series of recent missile test launches. He said, “We are not your enemy, we are not your threat. But you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond.”

He further added that the United States hopes that “at some point,” North Korea will understand and sit down for a dialogue. Tillerson’s statement came after Pyongyang successfully tested its second ICBM in July, which flew 2,300 miles into space before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.

With Inputs From AGENCIES

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