The United States and South Korea are deepening defense cooperation amid continued nuclear and missile provocations from North Korea.
North Korea will have enough material for about 20 nuclear bombs by the end of this year, with ramped-up uranium enrichment facilities and an existing stockpile of plutonium, according to new assessments by weapons experts.
North Korea conducted its fifth and biggest nuclear test on Friday and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile, ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.
North Korea fired a submarine-launched missile on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (311 miles) towards Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a series of launches in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
North Korea warned Monday that it would launch a preemptive nuclear attack against the U.S. and South Korea if they showed the “slightest sign of aggression” toward Pyongyang while conducting their annual military drills.
Thae Yong-ho, a top North Korean diplomat at the embassy in London, has defected to South Korea, the South Korean government announced on Wednesday.
Donald Trump was widely criticized after telling the New York Times last month that he would not offer military support to NATO allies attacked by Russia that have not “fulfilled their obligations to us.”
North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Wednesday that landed in or near Japanese-controlled waters for the first time, the latest in a series of launches by the isolated country in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The Chinese Defense Ministry announced Thursday that China and Russia will conduct joint naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea in September despite a recent international tribunal ruling that rejected Beijing’s claims to the strategic waterway.
North Korea said Thursday that U.S. sanctions against its leader Kim Jong Un crossed a “red line” and effectively marked a declaration of war.