When U.S. President Donald Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an “armada” as a warning to North Korea, the aircraft carrier strike group he spoke of was still far from the Korean peninsula, and headed in the opposite direction. It was even farther away over the weekend, moving through the Sunda Strait and then into the Indian Ocean, as North Korea displayed what appeared to be new missiles at a parade and staged a failed missile test. The U.S. military’s Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia. But it was now “proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered”, it said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, and discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria. Xi said that China stuck to the target of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that Beijing was committed to peace and stability of the peninsula. China held that the issue should be solved through peaceful means, said Xi, adding that his country was ready to maintain communication and coordination with the United States on the issue.
A new report from the United Nations human rights wing calls attention to more than 60 years of separation between families on the Korean peninsula, and urges action in order to alleviate the suffering of families. “The emotional, psychological, social, and economic toll of involuntary separation persists to this day, as people continue to search for the truth and for contact with their loved ones,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.