Donald Trump’s bid to ‘destroy’ North Korea exposed amid war fears

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North Korea will take “action” against the South and entrust its military to carry it out, Kim Jong-un’s sister threatened this weekend. Kim Yo-jong appears to be taking an increasingly prominent position within the rogue state’s hierarchy and is leading condemnation of the South for sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda over the border. She said in a statement: “I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean authorities. We will soon take a next action.

“By exercising my power authorised by the Supreme Leader, our Party and the state, I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action.”

She added that “the right to taking the next action against the enemy will be entrusted to the General Staff of our army”.

Her unprecedented aggression has sparked invasion fears in Seoul – a key US ally.

Given the ideological allegiances involved, commentators have long speculated that any conflict between North and South Korea could spiral into World War 3, as China sympathises with Kim Jong-un’s communist state while the US aligns itself with the capitalist South.

Tensions between Washington and the hermit kingdom have been tense for some time, becoming a theme of US President Donald Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

In September 2017, he threatened to “totally destroy” the rogue state, in a blistering first address to the United Nations general assembly.

He said: “The scourge of our planet today are a small group of rogue regimes.

“If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”

He then singled out North Korea, recounting its history of kidnapping, oppression and nuclear tests.

Trump added: “The US has great strength and patience.

“If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

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He said the US was “ready, willing and able” to take military action, but hoped that would be unnecessary if the rest of the world stepped up its efforts to constrain the regime.

He concluded: “That is what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.”

The war of words between Washington and Pyongyang escalated to intense levels after Trump’s UN speech – but relations did cool and Kim has even met Trump for talks.

In February 2019, the two met in Hanoi, Vietnam, and proceedings initially looked promising when a reporter asked Kim whether he was considering denuclearisation.

He responded: “If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

However, just hours later a scheduled lunch between Trump and Kim, as well as a potential joint signing ceremony, was cancelled as talks ultimately fell flat.

Trump said at the time: “We had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.”

They also met in Stockholm last October – but the talks in Sweden broke off with the North’s envoy saying the US failed to show flexibility.

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