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Pentagon might try to shoot down Pyongyang’s next missile test


In a proposed show of strength against North Korea, the US military is reportedly considering shooting down missiles it attempts to test, as tensions over Pyongyang’s continued launches and nuclear program have reached a fever pitch, APA reports quoting Sputnik.

 

As the Pentagon looks for ways to pressure the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) into denuclearization without engaging in open conflict, US Defense Secretary James Mattis presented the proposal to Congress, though no final decision has yet come down.

 

US Vice President Mike Pence visited South Korea this week, where he told CNN that President Donald Trump’s administration would "abandon the failed policy of strategic patience" forged under former President Barack Obama, explaining that Washington intended to use economic and diplomatic tactics to deal with Pyongyang.

 

He also made it clear that "all options are on the table" in regard to the US’s response.

 

Despite this, Han Song-ryol, North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, told the BBC that the North would continue its missile tests, "on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," warning that if the US took military action against them, an "all-out war" would ensue.

 

This comes as Pyongyang attempts to develop an international ballistic missile (ICBM) with a warhead attached capable of reaching the US, and also after Trump reportedly ordered a Navy strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson toward the Korean Peninsula, though there are reports of the vessels being spotted thousands of miles away in Indonesia. 

 

urther complicating matters is the deployment of the US’ Terminal High Altitude Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, which has not only sparked protests from residents who live near the system, but also from allies like China, who believe the system’s radar can be used spy on Beijing.

 

Author and Analyst Patrick Lawrence suggested to Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear that when Trump ordered his airstrike on Syria’s airfield in Ash Sha’irat, he purposefully timed it to coincide with his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as a way to pressure China into falling in line with Washington’s stance against the DPRK.

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