Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

'Trust' Us: Tillerson urges North Korea to back off nuke program

'Trust' Us: Tillerson urges North Korea to back off nuke program

The dictator has ordered his army to strengthen and fix protective walls at key locations amid fears America will carry out a surprise air raid.

North Korea has carried out a barrage of missile tests in recent months, which it says are bringing it closer to acquiring the ability to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped weapon.

North Korea also sent a rare letter of protest to the US House of Representatives on Friday warning that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea's state media reported.

Troops used a helicopter before infiltrating a mock enemy facility.

The South Korean delegation was known to be discussing with Washington officials about the schedules and agendas of Friday's meetings between Hong and senior Washington officials, including U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson.

The drill, called "Warrior Strike 7" happened at Camp Stanley in Euijeongbu, north of Seoul as well as at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex close to the North-South border.

"The U.S. should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the U.S. insists its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure", he said.

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It was revealed amid reports Kim Jong-un is boosting his own defences in the wake of Trump's rocket attack on Syria.

The North has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter US aggression.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday there was a "high possibility" of conflict with North Korea, which is pressing ahead with nuclear and missile programmes it says it needs to counter USA aggression.

The criticism followed South Korean President Moon Jae-in's unexpectedly tough response to the North's latest test-fire of a new kind of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, called the Hwasong-12, the first military provocation since Moon's inauguration.

North Korea's claim could not be independently verified.

The North has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression. "He said, however, that what he's willing to do is not talk for talk's sake but for talks that produce an outcome", the envoy said.

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