USA sends message to NKorea, China with Syria strike

Posted April 10, 2017

The defiant statement came a day after Friday's attack, which was widely seen as a warning to Pyongyang and other rival states that President Donald Trump is not afraid to resort to unilateral military action.

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North Korea, which conducted two nuclear explosions and test-fired more than 20 ballistic missiles a year ago alone, will be a major topic when Trump holds his first face-to-face meeting with Xi at the US president's Mar-a-Lago retreat.

Heading into the first talks between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, North Korea was the front-and-center security issue on the table.

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"The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and unforgivable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn this", North Korea's foreign ministry was quoted as saying.

The U.S. airstrikes this week were aimed at a Syrian air base, but nearly certainly got the attention of another adversary - North Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, without directly naming North Korea, told ABC News, "If you violate global agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken".

Along with its rapidly advancing nuclear and long-range missile capabilities, it has its artillery and short-range missiles trained on Seoul, the capital of US ally South Korea and a city of more than 10 million people.

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North Korea now has the strength to "wipe out" the United States "in a moment" with an H-bomb, the editorial said.

The statement said that North Korea, which regards Syria as an ally, was not surprised that this USA military attack was a "warning to us" and that it was another example that "we have to defend ourselves against imperialist aggressions". Underscoring that point, Washington has recently deployed numerous strategic assets to the peninsula as part of annual joint war games with the South.

And exercising the military option added some extra weight to Trump's recent threat of unilateral action against Pyongyang if Beijing fails to help curb its neighbor's nuclear weapons program.

Over the last 48 hours United States military operations in Syria have replaced North Korea as a main priority for Mr Trump. The report did not name the official, which is common in KCNA reports.

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Washington denies it has any intention of invading the North.