Tuesday, June 20, 2017

North Korea VS USA LIVE: Kim Jong-un threatens America as US navy suffers blow near Japan

OTTO Warmbier, an American student who was jailed in North Korea, has died.

Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months before being returned home in a coma less than a week ago.

He died in a Cincinnati hospital, his family said in a statement on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today," the family said in a statement.

9.30pm: Far from being frightened off by Jong-Un’s warmongering, the US has vowed to step up pressure on the country.

The State Department says they will focus on ways to step up pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, but will also be involved in counter-terrorism and territorial rivalries in the strategic South China Sea.

7.21pm: Washington has urged China to join the global effort to combat terrorism and the efforts to defeat ISIS.

Susan Thornton, the US acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said that China’s role so far has been limited.

"We would like to see them step up and take more responsibility," she told reporters in Washington.

The news comes ahead of high-profile security talks with Beijing on Wednesday.

The US State Department has also said it will focus on ways to keep applying pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes.

2.40pm BST: Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga reassured the public that both Japan and the US were committed to maintaining regional deference in the face of the North Korean threat, despite the naval incident on Saturday.

"It is extremely important to maintain U.S. deterrence in the light of an increasingly severe regional security situation," Mr Suga told a news conference.

"We will maintain close contact with international society, including the United States and South Korea, to maintain vigilance and protect the safety of our people."

12:38pm BST: South Korean president Moon Jae-in has vowed to usher in a “nuclear-free era" as he moved his country away from nuclear energy.

He said: “We will abolish our nuclear-centred energy policy and move towards a nuclear-free era. We will completely scrap construction plans for new nuclear reactors that are currently under way.”

The 2011 Fukushima reactor meltdown was the most devastating nuclear power plant meltdown since the Chernobyl incident in 1986.

12.30pm BST: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the US is considering imposing a travel ban to North Korea.

“We have been evaluating whether we should put some type of travel visa restriction to North Korea,” he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It came after after Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal a poster, was returned home in a coma.

The young man is in a stable condition but “shows no sign of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surrounding”, said Dr Daniel Kanter of the University of Cincinnati.

America has ramped up its show of power in Asia in recent weeks as tensions mounted between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un
The USS Sterett guided-missile destroyer has made port call in China on Thursday for a planned visit with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Back in April President Donald Trump boldly claimed he was sending an “armada” into to the region, a move that North Korea branded “a reckless action of aggression”.

Warnings also flared after North Korean state media Rodong Sinmun vowed a “merciless strike” against the US if it does not stop challenging North Korea’s missile tests.

North Korea has repeatedly rejected calls from the United Nations to cease its missile tests, sparking outcry from the international community. It has carried out 10 tests this year alone.

Meanwhile Pyongyang has branded America a “felonious and lawless gangster state” after an alleged breach of diplomatic protocol on Sunday.

The hermit state’s Foreign Ministry has claimed three diplomats carrying an important diplomatic package were “mugged” at JFK airport. US officials have denied the three men being official diplomats.

12pm BST: The US Navy has named all seven of the soldiers who died on the USS Fitzgerald after it crashed into a commercial vessel near Japan on Saturday.

"We will coordinate with Japanese authorities on investigations and will address specific requests for access in accordance with normal procedures," a US Navy spokesman said.

Fariha Taj

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