US, South Korea to launch major navy drill next week

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered US Navy submarine, arrives in the port of Busan on October 13, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 13 October 2017
0

US, South Korea to launch major navy drill next week

SEOUL: The US and South Korea will kick off a major navy drill next week, the US navy said Friday, a fresh show of force against North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests.
Tensions over North Korea’s weapons program have soared in recent months with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of multiple sets of UN sanctions.
The US has since ramped up military drills with South Korea and Japan, its two closest regional in the region.
In a statement the US 7th Fleet said the USS Ronald Regan aircraft carrier and two US destroyers would take part in the drill alongside South Korean Navy vessels.
The exercise, slated for October 16 to 26 in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, would promote “communications, interoperability, and partnership,” the statement added.
The move will likely rile Pyongyang which had previous warned against any upcoming joint exercises.
“If US imperialists and the South Korean puppets ignite a nuclear war of aggression against us, it would only advance their own demise,” the state-run KCNA news agency said.
There has been a flurry of US military hardware movement around the Korean peninsula in recent days.
On Friday the nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine arrived at South Korea’s southern port of Busan, according to Yonhap news agency, just days after another nuclear-powered submarine — the USS Tuscon — left after a five day visit.
Earlier this week the US flew two supersonic heavy bombers over the Korean peninsula, staging the first night-time joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea.
That mission came 17 days after four US F-35B stealth fighter jets and two B-1Bs flew over the peninsula.
President Donald Trump has engaged in an increasingly escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
On Tuesday Trump discussed “a range of options” with his national security team to respond to North Korea’s recent missile and nuclear tests.
It came days after he said that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that “only one thing will work.”
The North’s missile and nuclear capabilities have made significant progress under Kim, who on Saturday told party officials that the country’s atomic weapons were a “treasured sword” to protect it from aggression.


Djibouti asks UN help to end border dispute with Eritrea

Djibouti’s UN ambassador, Mohamed Siad Doualeh. (Courtesy: Youtube)
Updated 36 min 24 sec ago
0

Djibouti asks UN help to end border dispute with Eritrea

  • Eritrea had successfully resolved a dispute with Yemen over their sea boundary and a Red Sea island through binding international arbitration
  • Djibouti accused Eritrean troops of occupying the Dumeira mountain area

UNITED NATIONS: Djibouti is asking Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help peacefully resolve a border dispute with Eritrea following the recent end to that nation’s 20-year border dispute with Ethiopia.
Djibouti’s UN ambassador, Mohamed Siad Doualeh, asked Guterres in a letter circulated Wednesday to work with the Security Council to bring his tiny port nation and Eritrea together “with the aim of facilitating an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement.”
He said Djibouti’s preference would be to refer the dispute “to judicial settlement or arbitration” that would be legally binding.
Djibouti’s appeal to the UN chief follows the dramatic diplomatic thaw to one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts that began last month when Ethiopia’s reformist new prime minister fully accepted a peace deal that ended a 1998-2000 border war with Eritrea that killed tens of thousands.
Doualeh recalled that the Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 “because of its aggression against Djibouti and its refusal to withdraw its troops from the disputed area, and its rejection of all efforts aimed at mediating between the two parties.”
Djibouti accused Eritrean troops of occupying the Dumeira mountain area shortly after the peacekeepers left on June 13, 2017, and lodged a formal complaint with the African Union.
“Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high,” Doualeh said.
He warned that without any effort to end the border dispute, the UN monitoring group has said “the situation on the ground remains vulnerable to provocation by both parties, which could result in the rapid escalation of conflict.”
“There is thus an urgent need for a new dispute settlement mechanism,” Doualeh said.
He said Djibouti applauds the secretary-general’s recent decision to refer a longstanding border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana to the International Court of Justice. He also noted that Eritrea had successfully resolved a dispute with Yemen over their sea boundary and a Red Sea island through binding international arbitration.
Doualeh said Djibouti will “consider in good faith any proposals that you or the Security Council might make with regard to the appropriate means of peaceful dispute settlement.”