Risky turn in Korean nuclear conflict

Posted September 11, 2017

Four more THAAD anti-ballistic missile launchers will be installed this week at a U.S. military base in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, citing South Korea's defence ministry. The yen strengthened on Lee's remarks.

Earlier on Thursday, the final parts of the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system arrived at a base in South Korea as hundreds of protesters thronged the area amid a huge police presence.

"This evening, the United States informed the UN Security Council that it intends to call a meeting to vote on a draft resolution to establish additional sanctions on North Korea on Monday, September 11", a statement from the U.S. mission to the UN read.

"We will continue sanctions and pressure, which will eventually lead North Korea to the dialogue table, the only solution for North Korea".

Abe made the comments after holding talks with Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum in Russia's eastern port city of Vladivostok. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday he would support further "necessary measures" by the United Nations against North Korea, though he did not specify what those might be.

The nuclear test followed a missile test over Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido, triggering nuclear alarms all over the region.

South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun speaks at a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Korea Foundation in Washington on September 5, 2017.

Redeploying the weapons to South Korea wouldn't dramatically change the strategic balance, as the USA has nuclear assets on submarines that can operate off North Korea's coast. It is an extremely risky and uncertain calculation that sets the stage for further nuclear and missile tests.

In North Korea, which was marking the nation's founding anniversary Saturday, September 9, local media issued fresh calls for a nuclear arms buildup, in defiance of the mounting worldwide sanctions.

Moon Jae-in greets Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok Russia
Moon Jae-in greets Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok Russia

The Russian leader criticized sanctions as "useless and ineffective", instead urging the global community to offer security guarantees to North Korea.

North Korea conducted its 5th nuclear test on September 9 previous year, and then carried out a 6th a week ago, saying it was a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto a missile - prompting global condemnation and calls for further sanctions.

Even before North Korea detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday, Japan was calling for moves to cut off its oil supply.

The draft resolution would ban textiles, which were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

It remains unclear whether North Korea tested, as it claims, a hydrogen bomb ready to be mounted on an ICBM.

Protests in Seongju occurred as Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, told Trump that the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula has to be resolved by means of dialogue.

"(The allies) completed the tentative deployment of the THAAD system today, as (they) agreed to additionally deploy the four remaining launchers", the ministry said in a statement.

China and Russian Federation have advocated a "freeze for freeze" plan, under which the United States and South Korea would stop major military exercises in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programmes.

While it's not clear how - and if - the North Korea issue will be resolved, the USA has flatly rejected a Chinese proposal, backed by Russian Federation, for a suspension of hostilities on both sides.

ECJ keeps Intel's €1.06bn appeal alive
On remand, the General Court must consider Intel's argument about whether the rebates were capable of restricting competition. Intel had also paid a major electronics retail group, Germany's Media Saturn Holding, to only stock PCs with Intel inside.