North Korea says nukes aimed only at US
NORTH Korea’s Foreign Minister, Ri Hong-Yo, said yesterday that his country had no intention of using nuclear weapons against any country except the US.
Ri, in Manila to attend the Asean Regional Forum, said North Korea “is a responsible nuclear power and (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) state”.
“We have no intention to use nuclear weapons or threaten with nuclear weapons against any other country except the US, unless it joins action of the US against (North Korea),” Ri said.
He lambasted the US for “trying to internationalise the issue of Korean Peninsula by abusing the UN” by claiming that Pyongyang’s possession of nuclear weapons is a “global threat”.
He also said that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula had been created and developed into the present phase today by the US.
Meanwhile, a large majority of Americans consider North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme a critical threat towards the US, according to a new poll.
However, they remain divided on which policy would best contain that threat – and for the first time in almost 30 years, the majority of Americans were found to support military action if North Korea attacked South Korea.
The poll, conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, offers a glimpse of how Americans are responding to the rapidly evolving crisis on the Korean peninsular. Just two years ago, 55% of Americans listed North Korea as a critical threat facing the US. Now 75% do, making it among the greatest perceived threats in the poll.
And notably, while many analysts now suggest that convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons may be impossible, few Americans think that should be an option. Only 21% say they would support an agreement that saw North Korea halt its nuclear programme but not give up its existing weapons.
Even fewer – 11% – say they would be willing to accept a deal that would allow North Korea more nuclear weapons.
Despite the questionable success rate of sanctions already in place, 76% of Americans favour increasing sanctions on North Korea, with strong bipartisan agreement, while 68% support placing sanctions on banks and other businesses that do business with North Korea.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on Saturday to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programmes including a ban on coal and other exports.
The findings of the new poll largely echo those from a recent poll conducted for The Washington Post and ABC News.
In that poll, 66% of Americans were found to believe North Korea posed a “serious threat” to the US, though four out of 10 said they did not trust President Donald Trump to handle the issue “at all”.
Visitors watch the North side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea. The UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on Saturday to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programmes, including a ban on coal and other exports.