According to sources out of South Korea, it appears that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s military may have carried out a massive live-fire drill involving up to 400 artillery pieces, and it’s likely that there’s more to come.
A South Korean government official reported on Tuesday that “Pyongyang appeared to have deployed a number of long-range artillery units in the region of Wonsan, which is a coastal North Korean area,” and the South’s military is “firmly maintaining readiness.”
Reports of the missile tests came after the USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered Ohio class submarine, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan before moving on to join the USS Vinson aircraft carrier strike group for exercises in the Sea of Japan.
Lieutenant commander Matt Knight with the U.S. Pacific Fleet stated, “U.S. Navy ships and submarines routinely make port calls in a variety of locations,” adding, “As a matter of routine, we do not discuss future operations or the details regarding the operations of our submarines. USS Michigan is currently on a routine deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”
In a rare move, the entire U.S. Senate will be briefed about the North Korea situation on Wednesday, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, noting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will lead the briefing.
With an important North Korean anniversary taking place on Tuesday, South Korean Acting Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has instructed his military to strengthen its “immediate response posture” in case North Korea does something sinister to mark the occasion.
President Trump had lunch with U.N. Security Council members on Monday, calling for “big reforms” at the United Nations and criticizing the way they’ve handled recent events in Syria and North Korea, although he also said the U.N. has “tremendous potential.”
“You just don’t see the United Nations … solving conflicts. I think that’s going to start happening now,” said Trump.
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