Published: Wed, September 20, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

Spain declares North Korean ambassador persona non grata

Spain declares North Korean ambassador persona non grata

Two Air Force B-1B bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and four Marine Corps F-35B fighters from Iwakuni, Japan, combined with four South Korean F-15K fighters and four F-2 Japanese fighters, USA defense officials said. South Korea says the US military flew powerful bombers and stealth jets over the Korean Peninsula in joint drills with South Korean warplanes.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would "never tolerate" the North's "dangerous provocative action" and has urged the global community to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang. He vowed to complete his nuclear weapons program in the face of strengthening global sanctions, the agency said.

The show of force came as President Donald Trump prepared to deliver remarks for the first time this week at the United Nations General Assembly.

UN Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the Security Council has run out of options on containing the North's nuclear programmer and Washington may have to turn the matter over to the Defense Department.

Pyongyang carried out the latest in a rapid series of missile launches by firing another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, soon after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, in defiance of United Nations sanctions and other global pressure.

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In a statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano urged North Korea to "cease its provocative and highly unsafe actions that threaten the peace, stability and security of the region".

A sixth nuclear test was also conducted earlier this month, when Kim Jong-Un's tyrannical regime tested what it termed a hydrogen bomb many times more powerful than its previous device.

China and Russia started the second stage of their "Joint Sea-2017" military exercises on Monday with the arrival of a Chinese naval fleet in the Russian port city of Vladivostok.

President Trump spoke with South Korean president Moon Jae In by phone on Saturday, vowing to exert strong pressure on Pyongyang.

North Korea has warned that more sanctions and pressure will only make it accelerate its nuclear programme.

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The North has confirmed the missile as an intermediate range Hwasong-12, the same model launched over Japan on August 29.

Kim also said the country, despite "limitless" global sanctions, has almost completed the building of its nuclear weapons force and called for "all-state efforts" to reach the goal and obtain a "capacity for nuclear counterattack the USA can not cope with".

Speaking at a meeting with South Korean expats in NY, the president said that while USA military bases in South Korea are for the common good of the two sides, there could be disputes over sharing defense costs.

If a North Korean missile were to threaten USA or Japanese territory, he said, "that would elicit a different response from us".

Japan deployed Tuesday an additional missile defence system on its northern island of Hokkaido, days after North Korea launched a missile over the island, sparking emergency warnings to take cover.

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Kim also said the country, despite "limitless" worldwide sanctions, has almost completed the building of its nuclear weapons force and called for "all-state efforts" to reach the goal and obtain a "capacity for nuclear counterattack the U.S. can not cope with".

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