US proceeds with military exercise after N. Korea missile test
By Emily Rauhala ·
BEIJING - Tensions over North Korea’s July 4 missile test mounted Wednesday, with the U.S. and South Korean forces conducting military exercises and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appearing to personally taunt the president of the United States.
The latest launch was a display of the North’s longest-reaching weapon yet - an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range that experts say covers Alaska. It now sharply boosts pressure on President Donald Trump and his allies to carve out a strategy on North Korea amid deep international divisions over how to respond to an increasingly defiant regime in Pyongyang.
In a stark warning, top U.S. and South Korean commanders said the North risked tipping the peninsula toward war.
Before his inauguration, Trump said North Korea’s plan to develop an ICBM capable of hitting the United States “won’t happen” and has since made tough talk on the issue a signature.
Trump’s main strategy to rein in North Korea had counted on help from China, which is the North’s main financial lifeline. On Wednesday, Trump further called out China for failing to tighten the economic noose.
Now with Trump’s China outreach apparently on the rocks, there were few clear signs on how to seek international agreement on dealing with the North’s missile programme.
The focus on Chinese efforts has exasperated Beijing, which insists it has done its part to pressure Pyongyang and resents being singled out.
“The international community has no solutions,” said Song Xiaojun, who used to run a government linked-military magazine. “The U.S. wants to transfer the burdens to China.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Jul 05, 2017 -