Saturday morning’s Asahi claimed that during a teleconference with Prime Minister Abe on North Korea earlier this month, President Trump said that all options are on the table and that he will “hold consultations with the premier on everything” when pursuing measures “stronger than sanctions.” Although the U.S. leader stopped short of specifying what measures he was referring to, the GOJ believes that they may include a cyberattack to neutralize the DPRK’s missile capabilities.
Sunday’s papers took up U.S. media reports on the conclusion of the Trump administration’s review of its North Korea policy, noting that Washington has decided to pursue “maximum pressure and engagement” to seek the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has also reportedly chosen not to seek a “regime change” in the DPRK. With regard to “maximum pressure,” all Saturday morning papers reported extensively on the U.S. military’s use of a GBU43 bomb on ISIL strongholds in Afghanistan, speculating that the massive ordinance air blast (MOAB) bomb was perhaps utilized partly to send a warning to North Korea.
In a related front-page story, Sunday’s Yomiuri wrote that China and Russia have both dispatched spy ships to the East China Sea to monitor the USS Carl Vinson strike group probably in response to the U.S.’s purported preparations for launching a military strike against North Korea.