North Korea could conduct its latest nuclear test as President Donald Trump visits neighboring China and South Korea later this week. McClatchy News reporter Anita Kumar said during a MSNBC panel on Sunday that Trump should avoid his usual bombastic rhetoric while visiting Asia after months of the president and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un exchanging threats of war.
The president, Kumar said, “needs to watch what language he uses” during his first Asia trip as the leader of the U.S. “What experts are telling me, though, is that there might be a missile test by North Korea while President Trump is traveling,” she warned. “That’s going to put him on the spot while he’s in China or South Korea.”
“So that would be huge,” Kumar adding. “He’d have to decide then and there how to react.”
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said Saturday relations between the U.S. and Washington had taken on “a new urgency” because of North Korea’s “outlaw” behavior. “North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,” he said, adding, “I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power.”
Mattis’ remarks came as he traveled to the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea and visited with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “The threat from North Korea has grown markedly even since my trip here earlier this year,” Mattis said, speaking at a press conference as he stood next to his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, in Seoul.
A war with North Korea would be a disaster, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told world leaders Friday in Brussels. He urged for greater diplomacy and other peaceful means of persauding North Korea to temper its nuclear threats aimed at its enemies across the globe.
“No NATO allies and of course NATO do not want war,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with Jiji Press. “That would be a disaster,” he added.
Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and an ally and neighbor of North Korea, should help lead the effort for a peaceful resolution, the NATO leader said. He also warned European leaders would be willining to take a more aggressive approach if North Korea’s temper could not be cooled.
“NATO has the capabilities and the resolve to respond to any threat and to any aggressor,” Stoltenberg said. He added that the United States and other nations have the right to protection against North Korea.
North Korea warned last week that the U.S. should take seriously its threats of nuclear testing and weapons development. “The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally,” Ri Yong Pil, a senior diplomat in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, told CNN Wednesday.