US-North Korea Current Affairs - 2019

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Bulletin: US approves Missile Sales to South Korea, Japan

The United State recently approved Anti-Ballistic Missile sales to South Korea and Japan. The sale is worth more than $600 million and comes in backdrop of mounting tensions with North Korea.

Key Highlights

  • Objective: to support national security and foreign policy objectives of United States (US) by assisting its key allies. This will not alter basic military balance in region and will give them capability to defend itself against a growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.
  • Reason: Recently in May second week the North Korea reportedly tested two short-range missiles which is its second launch in less than a week. Earlier in April also North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised test-firing of a new type of “tactical guided weapon“. These tests come amid halted negotiations between the United States and North Korea, which US President Donald Trump promised would put an end to North’s missile tests.
  • The US’s State Department approved sale of-
  1. 92 ‘Standard Missile-2’ (SM-2), which is world’s premier fleet-area air defense weapon and used by ships against air threats along with 12 missile guidance systems for a total cost of $313.9 million.
  2. 160 anti-air AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles and related guidance equipment to Japan for $317 million.

US and North Korea

In February 2019 second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was held in Vietnam. It ended with a deadlock, when US side refused North Korea’s demands of easing sanctions until Pyongyang takes major steps to end its nuclear program.

Month: Categories: International

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US calls for new U.N. sanctions against N.Korea 

The United States has decided to present a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at imposing new sanctions on North Korea as it has successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Salient Highlights

An emergency meeting of the UNSC was called by the United States, Japan and South Korea to agree on a response to the North Korea’s ICBM test. In the emergency meeting, the US has said that the launch of an ICBM by the North Korea is a clear and sharp escalation. Under the new sanctions, the US has decided to use trade restrictions targeting those countries that continue to have dealings with North Korea. France has expressed its support for a new resolution.

In last year, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had adopted two sanctions resolutions to curtail hard currency needed to fund North Korea’s military programs. Those resolutions paved the way for imposing bans on North Korea’s coal exports, which is its major source of revenue. In addition, the sanctions also placed restrictions on banking and provided for mandatory searches of all cargo to and from North Korea.

In total, so far six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it has first tested an atomic device in 2006.

Background

Recently, North Korea had successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 into waters near Sea of Japan. The claim was confirmed by the United States. The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme gathered pace in the late 1990s. Based on missile’s height and trajectory path, US scientists claim that missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.  The missile had reached an altitude higher and flew longer than any of the North Korea’s previous similar tests. The missile had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. US has strongly condemned the launch and added that it will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The ICBM testing represents a new escalation of the threat to US and its allies and partners.

Month: Categories: International

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