Peace plea at Trump protest

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Yokota Air Base in Japan on Sunday /AP-Yonhap

The letter, reportedly written by vice director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff Rear Adm. Michael J Dumont, said North Korea "has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents".

That blunt assessment from the Pentagon is in response to a letter from two Democratic congressmen asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea.

US President Donald Trump never seems to miss a chance to take a swipe at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

While the joint military drills between the US and South Korea that both sides say are defensive in nature they enrage South Korea's neighbor to the north - Pyongyang views them as practice for an eventual invasion. Trump ramped up his tough rhetoric against North Korea when he arrived in Japan yesterday, saying the United States and its allies are prepared to defend freedom and "no dictator" should underestimate USA resolve.

Recent drills over South Korea by two USA strategic bombers have further raised tensions.

"We aim to encourage people to avoid problematic transactions with North Korea (through these sanctions) and to exercise caution with North Korea-related transactions in general", said Unification Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun in a regular media briefing.

"The regime continues development of its unlawful weapons programs including its illegal nuclear tests and outrageous launches of ballistic missiles directly over Japanese territory are a threat to the civilized world and worldwide peace and stability".

Trump will visit China from Wednesday to Friday. Trump is looking to present a united front with Japan against North Korea through meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


"A full discussion of US capabilities to "counter North Korea's ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities" is best suited for a classified briefing", the daily said.

During the state visit, South Koreans are also bracing for the possibility that Trump will renew his criticism of Moon over his support for diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang - something the USA president once called "appeasement" - and will again threaten to pull out of a free trade pact between the two countries.

They said South Korea's promises that it will not deploy additional parts of the THAAD system, will not join the U.S. It was not pleasant for them, was it?' said Trump, who wore a leather bomber jacket as he addressed the troops.

"This is a country that grew out of the total devastation of the Korean War, and over a matter of six, seven decades we've become a thriving democracy. and a thriving market economy", the foreign minister said.

This is part of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's efforts to sever ties so that North Korea can not financially benefit from the very countries it threatened to destroy. "The warmongering, arms-selling businessman Trump shouldn't come to Korea", the coalition said.

'There is only one way that this war ends.

Last year, South Korea unilaterally closed operations at the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying cash from the zone was being funnelled to the North's weapons programme.

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