- As DPRK vows to react to mode of war desired by U.S
US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed that a “window of opportunity” exists to convince Russia to end its support for embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Trump made a phone call to May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and they discussed America’s response to the suspected chemical attack by Syrian regime in which 87 people, including 31 children, were killed.
May and Merkel, in two separate calls with Trump, expressed support for the action of the US and agreed with Trump on the importance of holding Assad accountable, the White House said.
“The Prime Minister and the president agreed that a window of opportunity now exists in which to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest,” May’s spokesperson said in London.
“They agreed that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week provides an opportunity to make progress towards a solution which will deliver a lasting political settlement.?They also discussed the broader Middle East, including the threat posed by Iran throughout the region,” her spokesperson said.
The North Korean nuclear programme also figured on the agenda of the phone call from Downing Street.
“The Prime Minister and President also stressed the importance of the international community, including China, putting pressure on North Korea to constrain the threat it poses,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the White House refuted reports that Russia had prior information about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime last week.
“At this time, there is no US Intelligence Community consensus that Russia had foreknowledge of the Syrian chemical attack,” a senior administration official said.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US and Russia have common interest in defeating the Islamic State militant group.
“We have a shared interest particularly in the area of ISIS. If we can defeat them and if we can work with them on a plan to defeat them, then we’re going to do it,” he said.
“The President came into office to really focus on two fronts: keeping our country safe and growing our economy and putting people back to work,” Spicer said.
“If Russia or any other country can help us achieve those two goals, either through market access on additional products and services from the US into a major marketplace, but more importantly help to keep our country safe through a combined effort to defeat something like the ISIS, especially in a place like Syria where they’re playing so prominently, then I think we want to work with them,” Spicer said.
“But if we can’t get a deal with them, then, the President’s not, going to be disappointed. But he would like to do what he can to work with these individuals to make it happen,” Spicer said.
In the meantime, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said that the U.S. preparations to invade the DPRK has reached “a serious phase of its scenario” with the sending of a nuclear carrier task group in waters off the Korean Peninsula by Pentagon.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency as saying that the U.S. dispatching of Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the peninsula “all of a sudden” has proved that Washington’s “reckless moves of invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario.”
“If the U.S. dares opt for a military action, crying out for ‘preemptive attack’ and ‘removal of the headquarters,’ the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,’’ the spokesman said.
He stressed that “the prevailing grave situation proves once again that the DPRK was entirely justified for increasing in every way its military capabilities for self-defence with preemptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot.’’
“The Trump administration is foolish enough to deploy strategic striking forces one after another in South Korea, trumpeting about ‘peace by force of arms,’ but the DPRK remains unfazed.’’
“We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves,’’ the spokesman said.
Zee with additional report from NAN