Tweet from war?
Korea and the US could lead to a military conflict with catastrophic consequences for the region.
In a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, Xi Jinping urged both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation.
Professor Lucas said: “The Chinese and the US have been talking behind the scenes for months about what to do. The US has even had behind- the- scenes talks with North Korea since June.
“What Trump did is try to rip apart that diplomatic track by trying to immediately wave his own missiles against those of North Korea.
“Had Trump not gone on Twitter, the focus of this crisis, as it has been for weeks, would be on diplomacy.”
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has said the ARE we witnessing the outbreak of the next world war? Is the UK at risk? Well, not quite . . . yet. At this stage it’s only talk. The timing of President Trump’s comments and the North Korean’s statement was dreadful, but largely coincidental.
The statement from North Korea wasn’t a response to Trump’s remarks but a retort to the US testing an intercontinental ballistic missile much earlier this month.
Interestingly, North Korea has been threatening to regime of Kim Jong Un is responsible for the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear programme and must now “fix it”.
In a series of postings on his Twitter feed, the Foreign Secretary said Britain was working with the United States and allies in the region to find a diplomatic solution to the stand- off between Pyongyang and Washington.
“The North Korean regime is the cause of this problem, and they must fix it,” he said.
“The international community is shoulder to shoulder in ensuring North Korea stops its aggressive acts.
“We are working with the US and our partners in the region to bring this crisis to a diplomatic end.”
The crisis blew up following the disclosure that US intelligence analysts launch a missile at Guam since 2001.
So that threat is nothing new.
The current spat centres on comments from President Trump and Kim Jong Un.
But this isn’t two fighters trash-talking before a boxing match but empty rhetoric.
The US still has routine military exercises with South Korea and Japan planned for later this month and had concluded North Korean scientists had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a ballistic missile.
It prompted Mr Trump to warn that he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it did not stop its threats.
Pyongyang responded by announcing plans for a series of missile test firings towards the US Pacific island territory of Guam – the home to two major US military bases.
Despite the increasingly bellicose statements, Mr Trump’s comments did not appear to be backed by significant military mobilisation on either side of the Pacific, while a discreet diplomatic back channel with the regime is reported to remain open.
Terrifying Trump: Read our columnist Ali Kirker’s take on the crisis on page 29. there are no signs of added troop or equipment deployments.
Meanwhile, recent satellite images and intelligence show North Korea’s armed forces aren’t being mobilised but are participating in annual crop harvests at collective farms or working on construction projects.
It should also be pointed out that President Trump has yet to coordinate with other world leaders.
Any military conflict or pre-emptive strike against North Korea would require the support of the UK and it doesn’t seem Trump has so far reached out to his friend Theresa May.
There is nothing to suggest a conflict – let alone a pre-emptive attack – is imminent against North Korea.
This might just be the case of business as usual and signals the continuation of the West’s policies of containment with North Korea.
The UK has a vital role to play in helping reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the US would be wise to rely on its closest ally going forward. A WOMAN has fled crisis-hit Guam for the safety of Scotland amid fears the island could be targeted in a nuclear strike.
Michela Hendrix had booked to travel to Scotland to search her family tree and believes her timing could not be better, amid fears the current nuclear crisis could escalate.
The restaurateur and designer is flying to Edinburgh to track family of her late Scots gran, Louise Boyle.
She has already arranged to have her 77-year-old dad John Peters, a retired US navy man, flown to Washington from Guam while she is away but is worried about her boyfriend Mark Moore who has stayed behind for work.
“North Korea has said it will attack Guam and everyone is praying this won’t happen,” Michela said.
“We live in a tropical paradise and now Kim Jong Un wants to destroy it with nuclear weapons – he is insane.
“We have had these threats before but most people are taking this one seriously.
“The place is usually very lively but in the past few days it has been quiet, like a ghost town, even the birds have stopped chirping.”
Guam is 6000 miles from the US mainland and while worried, locals remain defiant.
“I am concerned about my boyfriend staying behind,” Michela said.
“I have asked him to leave until this all blows over but he wants to
Michela with Mark, who is staying on Guam. stay for his job. I am so excited about coming to Scotland to find my relatives.
“I have been waiting for this for a long time, but this business with North Korea has affected my dream trip.
“The people on Guam are not scared but everyone is praying.
“I want to remain positive that nothing will happen.”
Michela, 44, said until last week the island had been busy with tourists, but many had left.
“Guam is very popular with the Japanese but most of them have gone,” she said. “It is only really the South Koreans who own a lot of the restaurants here and some Chinese who are left, but maybe they are used to living with these threats.”
Last night it was revealed officials on Guam have issued residents with a chilling leaflet detailing what they should do in case of nuclear attack amid fears of an imminent strike.
The islanders were put on red alert after the local government issued the emergency fact sheet with the message: “Don’t look at the fireball”.