Russia’s Pravda Report has revealed that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has ordered 600,000 Pyongyang residents to evacuate the capital city. The news comes shortly after Jong-un invited two-hundred foreign journalists to Pyongyang to witness what has only been described as a “big and important event” just days before the country will celebrate the 105th birthday anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung.
One of the most important national celebrations, The Day of the Sun, was commemorated by the launch of a long-range missile carrying a satellite on 2012.
Tensions between North Korea and the United States of America have reached dangerous levels in recent weeks as President Donald Trump threatened to “solve the [North Korean] problem without [China]” if Pyongyang continues to provoke military action.
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
According to China’s state broadcaster, president Xi Jinping has called for a peaceful resolution urging North Korea, its only major ally, to denuclearize in exchange for increased protection.
“China remains committed to the goal of denuclearising the (Korean) peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means.”
Trump is hoping to work with China to stabilize the “North Koran menace” and praised Beijing’s decision to send North Korean coal ships back as part of UN sanctions against Jong-un.
Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2017
Meanwhile, Japan has sent its Maritime Self-Defence Force to join the U.S. armada in performing military drills. The nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson with its accompanying warships, has entered Japanese waters, soon to be joined by the U.S. 7th Fleet and the USS George Washington. Trump confirmed that U.S. will also be sending powerful submarines to the Korean peninsula.
“We are sending an armada. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”
In response to the increased military presence in the Korean peninsula, Kim Jong-un has ordered the evacuation of 600,000 Pyongyang residents due to the city’s bomb shelters being unable to accommodate enough citizens. Those asked to leave the North Korean capital have reportedly been chosen because they have criminal records.
South Korean news outlets have announced that DPRK citizens have been bidding one another farewell as rumors of the nation preparing for a large-scale war were circulating widely.
North Korean monitoring agency, 38 North, has revealed satellite images that show North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site bustling with suspicious activity.
“At the North Portal, what appears to be a small vehicle or trailer is located immediately outside the entrance; the water flow out of the portal has diminished in the past 10 days; and what may be a small trailer is visible on the road south of the portal. The netting—suspended over probable equipment—south of the portal’s support building remains in place, and there has been no significant dumping of additional material on the portal’s spoil pile.”
At the beginning of the year, Kim Jong-un defied calls for North Korea to denuclearize and cease military provocation by conducting numerous missile tests that Pyongyang celebrated as a major success. According to various sources, the ultimate goal is to produce a nuclear weapon that would be capable of striking U.S. soil.
Experts have said that if Donald Trump initiated a pre-emptive strike, perhaps even to destroy North Korea’s nuclear testing site, the consequences could be devastating. South Korean officials feel particularly vulnerable as it is highly likely that Pyongyang will retaliate with a possible attack on Seoul.
An American four-star general has warned that the prospects of military strikes between the U.S. and North Korea would place the two nations on the precipice of war.
“A pre-emptive strike against launch facilities, underground nuclear sites, artillery and rocket response forces and regime leadership targets may be the only option left on the table. We are rapidly and dangerously moving towards a military option.”
The Korea Institute for National Unification’s Dr. Chung Sung-yoon has cited North Korea’ interest in testing its missile capabilities as a source of the unrelenting military provocation.
“North Korea conducts provocative measures under two conditions: a) when there is a necessity and b) when there is any political and diplomatic interest for them. Currently, it needs to confirm how much its ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) and SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) have improved, and react firmly to the U.S.’s suppressive counter-North Korean policies.”
While the world watches in anticipation of escalating conflict, most are hoping that a war will be averted. However, considering the race for nuclear supremacy, it may only be a matter of time before the key players decide to test their mettle in a potentially devastating full-scale military confrontation.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]