North Korea says 'millions' ready to fight US

Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated

Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) US President Donald Trump will travel to five Asian countries - Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines - in November to take part in regional summits and discuss the North Korean nuclear threat, the White House announced on Friday.

Trump has offered fiery rhetoric and a tough stance against the North's nuclear weapons program, declaring in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week that the US would "totally destroy" North Korea if provoked.

During the trip, Trump also will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in the Philippines.

As part of efforts to reach out to key opinion leaders, Kim will meet with the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in NY on Thursday to discuss bilateral trade and diplomatic issues, Seoul's commerce ministry said.

Onodera said October 10 marks an important anniversary for North Korea.

Trump has called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea should it attack the United States or its allies. By contrast, North Korea has an antiquated military (regardless of its large number of soldiers) and essentially one powerful ally in China-a country that just this week joined the United States in imposing economic sanctions on North Korea.

This massive standing army comes by design: North Korea's constitution explicitly states that "national defense is the supreme duty and honor of its citizens" and that citizens are required to serve in the armed forces by law.

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North Korea introduced the subs to its fleet in 1976, and though they are relatively obsolete, was included in a photograph of leader Kim Jong Un in 2014, where he appeared to be directing the submarine and providing field guidance to the navy.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches this year, including two launches over Japan in recent weeks, in defiance of global pressure.

Yang described Trump's visit as of great importance to the bilateral relationship.

"It would be helpful if the President would highlight some trade practices of our partners we appreciate as well as those we most want to see changed", Scissors said. His visit follows that of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, which finished earlier this week.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho subsequently slammed Trump's remarks as a "declaration of war" against Pyongyang, although the White House called that "absurd". Trump said he was looking forward to his Beijing visit, adding he believed it would be "very successful".

Trump's visit to China is in response to President Xi Jinping's U.S. visit in April this year. The other two dialogues - Diplomacy and Security Dialogue, Comprehensive Economic Dialogue - had been held separately in June and July. Heightened tensions caused by North Korea's September 3 nuclear test also contributed to the decision.

"Frankly, the USA administration's China policy has been all over the lot, leaving Americans, Chinese and the region confused", Lampton said.

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