Japan is preparing to send several warships to join a US aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force designed to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.
With tension growing markedly, the Korean peninsula is the closest it has been to a “military clash” since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006, an influential state-run Chinese newspaper said today.
The move comes as the Chinese president called for calm in the region in a phone conversation with Donald Trump.
Tension has escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula amid concerns that reclusive North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches and President Donald Trump’s threat of unilateral action to solve the problem.
In a pair of tweets, Trump linked trade deals and the future of the US-China relationship to progress on reining in the regime’s nuclear programme.
The US president wrote:
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression.