Donald Trump’s administration ramped up the pressure on North Korea on Sunday ahead of a week of high-stakes diplomacy at the United Nations, warning Pyongyang will be “destroyed” if it refuses to end its “reckless” nuclear and ballistic missile drive.
With US officials and their allies scrambling to find ways to contain an increasingly belligerent Pyongyang, the US president will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and then confer Thursday with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting. Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In spoke by phone Saturday night and pledged “stronger pressure” on Kim Jong-Un’s regime, the South s presidential office said, adding that the North must be made to realize that “further provocation” would put it on a “path of collapse.”
The Security Council last Monday imposed a new raft of sanctions on North Korea — but their impact depends largely on whether China, Pyongyang s ally and main economic partner, will fully implement them and on Russia, which is hosting tens of thousands of North Korean workers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military flew advanced bombers and stealth jets over the Korean Peninsula and near Japan in drills with South Korean and Japanese warplanes on Monday, three days after North Korea fired a missile over Japan.
The United States often sends powerful military aircraft in a show of force in times of heightened animosities with North Korea.
Monday’s flyovers over the Korean Peninsula involved two B-1Bs and four F-35Bs from the U.S. military and four F-15K fighter jets from South Korea, according to the South Korean and U.S. militaries. The U.S. and South Korean planes practiced attacks by releasing live weapons at a firing range in South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.
The U.S. warplanes also conducted formation training with Japanese fighter jets over waters near the southern island of Kyushu, according to the Pacific Command.