While China, its main ally, has called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis it has yet to play any significant role in defusing the situation. It has instead started levying economic costs on South Korean companies.
On Tuesday, South Korea and the United States agreed to not impose a weight limitation on its warheads as they weigh their response to an increasingly aggressive North Korea, which conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test two days ago.
“We believe the unlimited warhead payload will be useful in responding to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” said Moon Sang-gyun, a spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry.
According to South Korean officials, more provocation from North Korea, which is tacitly supported by China – its only ally, is expected despite international outrage over its test and calls for more sanctions on North Korea.
South Korea’s Asia Business Daily has reported citing an anonymous source, that North Korea is preparing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch on its west coast.
The rocket was spotted moving at night, in order to avoid surveillance, said the report. However, officials from South Korea’s defense ministry were unable to confirm the same.
In July the renegade state had tested two ICBMs that could fly nearly 10,000 km (6,200 miles), thus putting many parts of the U.S. mainland within its range.
On Monday, Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations had stated that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader was “begging for war”. U.S. President Donald Trump has declared that “all options to address the North Korean threat are on the table”.
While South Korea has been ramping up its defenses, Washington is considering deploying strategic bombers and aircraft carriers in the Korean peninsula.
Meanwhile South Korea’s navy will also hold more drills on Tuesday.
“Today’s training is being held to prepare for maritime North Korean provocations, inspect our navy’s readiness and to reaffirm our will to punish the enemy,” said an unidentified South Korean naval officer.
As expected China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, has called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.