Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

US Tries to Cut Off N.Korea's Oil Supplies, Labor Exports

US Tries to Cut Off N.Korea's Oil Supplies, Labor Exports

North Korea's latest missile launch ended in failure on Wednesday, the US and South Korean militaries said, three days after the North claimed a major breakthrough in its rocket development program.

He denounced joint annual military exercises now being carried out by the US and South Korea on the divided peninsula. South Korea's Yonhap News Service noted that the "refueling vastly extends the fighter jet's ability to stay in the air, enabling it to carry out key missions over the Korean Peninsula if the need arises".

Earlier this month, North Korea had fired four rockets in what it termed as a rehearsal for an attack on U.S. bases in Japan.

In North Korea's first official comments since new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's swing through the region, a Foreign Ministry spokesman seized on the former oil executive's blunt assessment that Obama's strategy needs to be replaced and us efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize over the past 20 years have been a failure.

The statement comes about a day after North Korea conducted a successful test of a new rocket booster that they say is for their space program. USA officials confirmed North Korea's plan had been for five missiles, but one failed to launch. Experts say that North Korea has successfully tested missiles within the past year, raising the alarm.

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday the two would conduct an in-depth discussion on ways to deal with the North Korean nuclear program.

Pyongyang is also looking to "accelerate" its nuclear and missile programme in a move that would give the secretive nation "pre-emptive first-strike capability", a North Korean diplomat claimed. Trump said after the meeting that the dictator Kim Jong Un was "acting very, very badly" following the country's rocket-engine test, which officials believe it is part of building a missile capable of reaching the U.S. US and South Korean forces are working to identify the missile and why it exploded.

South Korea has been engaged in multiple military exercises with the United States to increase its readiness to counter North Korea, with Seoul and Washington saying the exercises are entirely defensive in nature.

"Tillerson admitted the failure of the U.S. efforts to denuclearise the DPRK for 20 years and end Obama's policy of "strategic patience" during his recent tour", the official was quoted as saying. The country launched seven Musudan missiles a year ago, with all of them failing save for one. South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) confirmed that North Korea had launched a variant of Scud missiles.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that Japan is "gathering and analysing information (on North Korea) with great interest".

North Korea's development of nuclear weapons in spite of U.N. Security Council sanctions has been a source of heightened regional tensions.

The U.S. and South Korean representatives for the stalled six-party talks on North Korean denuclearization agreed that Pyongyang's actions were a likely precursor to further provocations, possibly a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korean leader Kim mentioned in his New Year's speech.

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