World War 3: Situation Report
Trump has taken a hardline stance against North Korea since taking office in January, repeatedly vowing to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The White House has said that it hopes the issue can be dealt with diplomatically, with Trump saying on Monday that he would be “honored” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances. However, the Trump administration has also repeatedly stressed that “all options are on the table” when it comes to dealing with Pyongyang.
USA has dramatically increased its ability to monitor North Korea, the 1st of 5 RQ-4 Global Hawk Drones has arrived in Japan, the other 4 and over 100 military staff will arrive soon.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk
North Korea has responded to the Trump administration’s actions by threatening to bolster its nuclear arsenal “at the maximum pace.” Pyongyang also test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday, which reportedly exploded just minutes after launch.
North Korea has drawn an angry response from its regional neighbors and the US after several test firings of ballistic missiles hailed by the state media as major military achievements.
Putin and Trump, held a phone call in which they have agreed to cooperate on promoting diplomatic progress in dealing with tensions on the Korean peninsula, according to the Kremlin. This is the first time that Trump and Putin have talked to each other since the US missile strike on a Syrian airfield that set back US-Russia diplomatic relations.
“Vladimir Putin has called for restraint and decreasing of the level of tensions” on the Korean peninsula, the statement said. “It has been agreed to work jointly on a diplomatic solution that will settle the crisis.”
Putin and Trump have decided to “activate the dialogue between the heads of the foreign ministries of both countries who will seek variants to secure the ceasefire regime, stabilize it and control it,” the statement says.
Tensions between the two nations increased after President Trump said he would seek to stop North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon and missile tests. As part of this plan, the US anti-missile THAAD system was stationed in South Korea aimed at deterring its northern neighbor. The system is now live.
Moscow has condemned the move, urging Washington and Seoul to reconsider this decision, saying that THAAD anti-missile system would serve as a “destabilizing factor” in the region.
Trump and Abe also held an informal telephone call on Monday, according to sources cited by the Japan Times. It followed three formal telephone meetings last month, all of which focused on the increasing threat posed by North Korea.
Trump has sent a high-altitude surveillance RQ-4 Global Hawk drone to Japan, marking the beginning of a five-month deployment. It is expected to monitor moves made by North Korea, according to Japanese media.
The drone landed at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on Monday night, after flying from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the Japan Times reported.
According to Japanese Defense Ministry officials, the drone can capture aerial images and electronic data from an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) or higher.
It will be remotely controlled from Yokota during takeoff and landing. Once it reaches a sufficient altitude, it will be controlled from the US mainland.
The arrival of the drone, which is part of the 69th Reconnaissance Group Detachment 1, marks the beginning of a five-month mission for the drone.
Japan’s NHK broadcaster reported that the drone is expected to monitor moves made by North Korea, including ballistic missile launches, while it is stationed in Japan.
Four other Global Hawk drones and around 105 personnel currently based at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam are also scheduled to arrive at Yokota soon, according to US Pacific Command.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach.