Can US Attack North Korea and Claim 'Self Defense'?

Lawmakers and others move to curb Trump’s power to launch nukes

People participate in an anti-nuclear rally in Union Square in New York. | Seth Wenig AP

"President Trump's threat to rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire. He has genuine concern about the direction of events in North Korea".

Obviously they can, and would, try to do so.

In an editorial on Saturday, North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said that the US "finds itself in an ever worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK".

Following days of grave threats to North Korea, Trump directed his latest warning Friday directly to the communist country's leader, Kim Jong Un.

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It would be a case of dramatic revisionism for the Trump Administration to even claim otherwise.

The contacts are occurring regularly between Joseph Yun, the United States envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country's UN mission, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the process.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary James Mattis praised Tillerson's diplomatic efforts to contain North Korea, saying they were working and that they remain the favored means for solving the crisis.

"They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries".

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"Contrary to the public vitriol of the moment, the North Koreans were willing to reopen the NY channel following the election of President Trump and his administration signalled an openness to engage and 'talk about talks, '" said Keith Luse, executive director of the National Committee on North Korea, a US-based group that promotes US-North Korean engagement.

Trump tweeted Friday that U.S. military solutions on North Korea are "locked and loaded".

A former Republican US senator from New Hampshire is urging his state's Congressional delegation to pass legislation that would set up a commission to determine President Trump's mental health. Kim Jong Un's bellicose threats (that he would "blow the US from this planet", and other such claims) upped the ante, but should the president be responding in kind? I think there is still time for other measures.

That same month, Yun met high-level representatives from the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, including Choi Sun Hee, the official who leads the North Korean Foreign Ministry's North America department.

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Faced with perhaps his biggest global crisis as president, Trump has responded with an abundance of swagger and a lot of words. Besides its geographic proximity to North Korea, there is a military reason why Seattle could an attractive target.

They included Mr Warmbier, who was imprisoned for stealing a propaganda poster and only allowed to return to the USA in June - in an unconscious state.

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