Monday, 21 August, 2017

On North Korea, Trump signals break with US-China policy

Christy Curtis | 18 April, 2017, 18:34

It is becoming more and more evident that the threat of conflict and nuclear escalation between the US and North Korea is real and growing.

No countries were determined to have met all three of these criteria, but Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland all met two of them.

Trump, who on the campaign trail blamed China for "stealing" U.S.jobs and prosperity by cheapening its currency, repeatedly promised to label the country as a currency manipulator on "day one" of a Trump administration - a move that would require special negotiations and could lead to punitive duties and other action.

"The missile blew up nearly immediately", the US Defense Department said of the early-morning launch from near Sinpo on the North's east coast.

S&P 500 mini futures dipped 0.1 percent to 2,325, edging near a six-week low of 2,317.75 touched in late March following US President Donald Trump's defeat over healthcare reform.

North Korea attempted a failed missile test over the weekend, and has threatened a preemptive nuclear strike if it believes the USA will attack. He added that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's unpredictability complicated U.S. strategy.

From the increasing risk of conflict and nuclear escalation in North Korea, the chance of the USA entering a war with Syria, and the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in history, things are not looking great on the war-and-peace front.

While McMaster conceded that estimates on North Korea's weapons capabilities "vary widely", even failed missile tests can allow them to improve their programs, he said. The birthday Saturday of the nation's founder could prompt the country to conduct its sixth nuclear test, according to experts.

For decades, USA officials have made clear to their Chinese counterparts that the U.S. won't barter economic or other foreign policy issues in exchange for support on the North Korean issue - sending the signal that the United States position on the issue was in the interests of global stability.

North Korea only showed off its missiles during a military parade and warned it was ready for "all-out war", while accusing President Trump of "creating a war situation".

The North has reiterated its constant refrain that it is ready for war with the USA, and its army vowed Friday a "merciless" response to any United States provocation.

"I don't know if this sends a message", Trump said at the White House.

South Korea, which has about 20 million people living within artillery range of North Korea, worries about not being included in two things: US decisions on pre-emptive action against its northern neighbor and USA discussions with the Chinese over the issue, Hill told Raddatz, who anchored the show from South Korea.

Beijing has sought Moscow's help in averting the mounting crisis over Pyongyang's repeated nuclear tests.

Operational submarine-launched devices could give the North the ability to strike without warning from a vessel somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Previous administrations have used three factors to determine if a country is a currency manipulator - a trade surplus with the USA of more than $20 billion; a current-account surplus totaling more than 3% of its gross domestic product; and repeatedly devaluing its currency by buying foreign assets that equals to 2% of output a year.

On Monday Pence is scheduled to meet Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn for talks on the North's weapons programmes and on THAAD.

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