Pressure on North Korea ratcheted up amid nuke test possibility

PYONGYANG, North Korea — A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its military.

Though experts thought a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch was possible around the anniversary, the morning came and went without either. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing a South Korean government source, reported that North Korea instead appeared to have held a major live-fire drill in the Wonsan city area.

South Korea’s military said it’s closely watching North Korean troop movement around Wonsan, but didn’t confirm the Yonhap report, which cited an unnamed source to report that the North carried out an exercise involving 300 to 400 artillery pieces.

Yonhap said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un likely observed what was one of the country’s largest artillery drills.

Crowds in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, laid flowers and paid respects at giant statues of the country’s former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, a day after the minister of defense reiterated the assertion that North is ready to use pre-emptive strikes or any other measures it deems necessary to defend itself against the “U.S. imperialists.”

“The situation prevailing on the Korean peninsula is so tense that a nuclear war may break out due to the frantic war drills of the U.S. imperialists and their vassal forces for aggression,” Gen. Pak Yong Sik said at a “national meeting” of thousands of senior military and civilian officials.

A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper warned North Korea Tuesday against conducting another nuclear test, saying that would likely propel events past the “point of no return.”

In an editorial, the Global Times said the previous day’s phone conversation between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping of China showed the two countries were in close communication over the tensions.

It said China hopes for a peaceful outcome, but that Beijing has “very limited influence on the entire situation.”

It said, “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.” The paper is known for its often stridently nationalistic views.

The newspaper said if North Korea carries out a sixth nuclear test as expected, “It is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return. All stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

As a traditional ally and North Korea’s chief source of trade, food and fuel aid, China has come under intense pressure to use its influence to dissuade Pyongyang from additional nuclear tests and missile launches.

However, Beijing is intensely wary of any measures that might cause the collapse of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s hard-line communist regime, fearing that could lead to a wave of refugees and a Pyongyang government beholden to Washington and Seoul.

The streets of Pyongyang were quiet Tuesday. Flower-laying and bowing at statues and portraits of the leaders is a regular routine on major anniversaries. Groups of people also gathered in open spaces around the city to take part in organized dancing sessions, another common way of marking holidays in North Korea.

“Our great leaders founded and wisely led our revolutionary army, and just like that, now our respected Marshal Kim Jong Un is leading wisely, so even though the situation is tense, we are celebrating the day,” said Choe Un Byol, who had come with his family to the bronze statues of the former leaders.

North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying its military capability and has conducted five nuclear tests. Pyongyang launched a missile one day after the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

Recent U.S. commercial satellite images indicate increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, and third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un has said the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.”

South Korea’s Defense Ministry has said North Korea appears ready to conduct such “strategic provocations” at any time. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the country’s acting leader, has instructed his military to strengthen its “immediate response posture” in case North Korea does something significant on Tuesday’s anniversary.

The nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine arrived at Busan in what was described as a routine port visit to rest the crew and load supplies. Cmdr. Jang Wook from the South Korean navy public affairs office said there is no plan for any drill.

The submarine’s arrival comes as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heads toward the Korean Peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea around the weekend.

Despite the buildup, Mr. Trump has reportedly settled on a strategy that emphasizes increased pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North’s only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow North Korea’s government.

Mr. Trump has told ambassadors from U.N. Security Council member countries that they must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korea.

“This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not,” Mr. Trump said at a White House meeting Monday. “North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem.”

Nikki Haley, Mr. Trump’s U.N. ambassador, said the U.S. isn’t looking for a fight with Kim and wouldn’t attack North Korea “unless he gives us reason to do something.” She praised China’s increased pressure on North Korea.

Asked about the threshold for U.S. action, Haley told NBC News, “If you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we’re going to do that.”

But asked what if North Korea tests an intercontinental missile or nuclear device, she said, “I think then the president steps in and decides what’s going to happen.”

U.S. representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the three envoys were to deepen cooperation and ensure their countries stay on the same page amid growing tension.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry also announced that China’s envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, is arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi, which may take place later this week.

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Pressure on North Korea ratcheted up amid nuke test possibility

PYONGYANG, North Korea — A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its military.

Though experts thought a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch was possible around the anniversary, the morning came and went without either. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing a South Korean government source, reported that North Korea instead appeared to have held a major live-fire drill in the Wonsan city area.

South Korea’s military said it’s closely watching North Korean troop movement around Wonsan, but didn’t confirm the Yonhap report, which cited an unnamed source to report that the North carried out an exercise involving 300 to 400 artillery pieces.

Yonhap said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un likely observed what was one of the country’s largest artillery drills.

Crowds in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, laid flowers and paid respects at giant statues of the country’s former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, a day after the minister of defense reiterated the assertion that North is ready to use pre-emptive strikes or any other measures it deems necessary to defend itself against the “U.S. imperialists.”

“The situation prevailing on the Korean peninsula is so tense that a nuclear war may break out due to the frantic war drills of the U.S. imperialists and their vassal forces for aggression,” Gen. Pak Yong Sik said at a “national meeting” of thousands of senior military and civilian officials.

A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper warned North Korea Tuesday against conducting another nuclear test, saying that would likely propel events past the “point of no return.”

In an editorial, the Global Times said the previous day’s phone conversation between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping of China showed the two countries were in close communication over the tensions.

It said China hopes for a peaceful outcome, but that Beijing has “very limited influence on the entire situation.”

It said, “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.” The paper is known for its often stridently nationalistic views.

The newspaper said if North Korea carries out a sixth nuclear test as expected, “It is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return. All stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

As a traditional ally and North Korea’s chief source of trade, food and fuel aid, China has come under intense pressure to use its influence to dissuade Pyongyang from additional nuclear tests and missile launches.

However, Beijing is intensely wary of any measures that might cause the collapse of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s hard-line communist regime, fearing that could lead to a wave of refugees and a Pyongyang government beholden to Washington and Seoul.

The streets of Pyongyang were quiet Tuesday. Flower-laying and bowing at statues and portraits of the leaders is a regular routine on major anniversaries. Groups of people also gathered in open spaces around the city to take part in organized dancing sessions, another common way of marking holidays in North Korea.

“Our great leaders founded and wisely led our revolutionary army, and just like that, now our respected Marshal Kim Jong Un is leading wisely, so even though the situation is tense, we are celebrating the day,” said Choe Un Byol, who had come with his family to the bronze statues of the former leaders.

North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying its military capability and has conducted five nuclear tests. Pyongyang launched a missile one day after the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

Recent U.S. commercial satellite images indicate increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, and third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un has said the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.”

South Korea’s Defense Ministry has said North Korea appears ready to conduct such “strategic provocations” at any time. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the country’s acting leader, has instructed his military to strengthen its “immediate response posture” in case North Korea does something significant on Tuesday’s anniversary.

The nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine arrived at Busan in what was described as a routine port visit to rest the crew and load supplies. Cmdr. Jang Wook from the South Korean navy public affairs office said there is no plan for any drill.

The submarine’s arrival comes as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heads toward the Korean Peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea around the weekend.

Despite the buildup, Mr. Trump has reportedly settled on a strategy that emphasizes increased pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North’s only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow North Korea’s government.

Mr. Trump has told ambassadors from U.N. Security Council member countries that they must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korea.

“This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not,” Mr. Trump said at a White House meeting Monday. “North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem.”

Nikki Haley, Mr. Trump’s U.N. ambassador, said the U.S. isn’t looking for a fight with Kim and wouldn’t attack North Korea “unless he gives us reason to do something.” She praised China’s increased pressure on North Korea.

Asked about the threshold for U.S. action, Haley told NBC News, “If you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we’re going to do that.”

But asked what if North Korea tests an intercontinental missile or nuclear device, she said, “I think then the president steps in and decides what’s going to happen.”

U.S. representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the three envoys were to deepen cooperation and ensure their countries stay on the same page amid growing tension.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry also announced that China’s envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, is arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi, which may take place later this week.

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American monitor killed in Ukraine identified

Officials have identified the American killed when a land mine blew up a vehicle carrying an OSCE monitoring team in the separatist Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine Sunday, the Reuters news agency reports.

Two European members of the mission were wounded, officials reported.

The mission’s deputy head, Alexander Hug, said the member killed was from the U.S. and the two wounded are from Germany and the Czech Republic.

On Monday, Hug named the American as paramedic Joseph Stone, Reuters says.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, called for an investigation into the blast and said on Twitter that “those responsible will be held accountable.”

In Washington, the State Department expressed shock and sadness and extended condolences to family and friends of the victim, who was not identified in the initial statement.

Spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. “again calls upon Russia to use its influence with the separatists to take the first step toward peace to eastern Ukraine and ensure a visible, verifiable and irreversible improvement in the security situation.”

“This death underscores the increasingly dangerous conditions under which these courageous monitors work, including access restrictions, threats and harassment. The United States urges Russia to use its influence with the separatists to allow the OSCE to conduct a full, transparent and timely investigation,” Toner added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed Monday to use Moscow’s influence to get Ukraine’s separatist rebels to comply with a cease-fire deal.

Lavrov made the promise at a news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after talks in Moscow.

In a separate statement, the State Department said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss his recent trip to Moscow and his message to Russian officials that Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine remain an obstacle to improved relations with the U.S.

Tillerson accepted Poroshenko’s condolences on the OSCE observer’s death and the two leaders agreed that “this tragic incident makes clear the need for all sides – and particularly the Russian-led separatist forces – to implement their commitments under the Minsk Agreements immediately,” the statement said.

The Russia-backed rebels and the Ukrainian government blamed each other for laying the mine.

The rebels and the Ukrainian government have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a war that has killed more than 9,900 people.

The monitoring mission assesses compliance with the 2-year-old Minsk peace deal that was to bring a cease-fire and heavy weapons pullback to the region. It also conducts work on human rights and civil society issues as well as mine-awareness programs.

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American monitor killed in Ukraine identified

Officials have identified the American killed when a land mine blew up a vehicle carrying an OSCE monitoring team in the separatist Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine Sunday, the Reuters news agency reports.

Two European members of the mission were wounded, officials reported.

The mission’s deputy head, Alexander Hug, said the member killed was from the U.S. and the two wounded are from Germany and the Czech Republic.

On Monday, Hug named the American as paramedic Joseph Stone, Reuters says.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, called for an investigation into the blast and said on Twitter that “those responsible will be held accountable.”

In Washington, the State Department expressed shock and sadness and extended condolences to family and friends of the victim, who was not identified in the initial statement.

Spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. “again calls upon Russia to use its influence with the separatists to take the first step toward peace to eastern Ukraine and ensure a visible, verifiable and irreversible improvement in the security situation.”

“This death underscores the increasingly dangerous conditions under which these courageous monitors work, including access restrictions, threats and harassment. The United States urges Russia to use its influence with the separatists to allow the OSCE to conduct a full, transparent and timely investigation,” Toner added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed Monday to use Moscow’s influence to get Ukraine’s separatist rebels to comply with a cease-fire deal.

Lavrov made the promise at a news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after talks in Moscow.

In a separate statement, the State Department said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss his recent trip to Moscow and his message to Russian officials that Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine remain an obstacle to improved relations with the U.S.

Tillerson accepted Poroshenko’s condolences on the OSCE observer’s death and the two leaders agreed that “this tragic incident makes clear the need for all sides – and particularly the Russian-led separatist forces – to implement their commitments under the Minsk Agreements immediately,” the statement said.

The Russia-backed rebels and the Ukrainian government blamed each other for laying the mine.

The rebels and the Ukrainian government have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a war that has killed more than 9,900 people.

The monitoring mission assesses compliance with the 2-year-old Minsk peace deal that was to bring a cease-fire and heavy weapons pullback to the region. It also conducts work on human rights and civil society issues as well as mine-awareness programs.

CBSNews

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American monitor killed in Ukraine identified

Officials have identified the American killed when a land mine blew up a vehicle carrying an OSCE monitoring team in the separatist Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine Sunday, the Reuters news agency reports.

Two European members of the mission were wounded, officials reported.

The mission’s deputy head, Alexander Hug, said the member killed was from the U.S. and the two wounded are from Germany and the Czech Republic.

On Monday, Hug named the American as paramedic Joseph Stone, Reuters says.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, called for an investigation into the blast and said on Twitter that “those responsible will be held accountable.”

In Washington, the State Department expressed shock and sadness and extended condolences to family and friends of the victim, who was not identified in the initial statement.

Spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. “again calls upon Russia to use its influence with the separatists to take the first step toward peace to eastern Ukraine and ensure a visible, verifiable and irreversible improvement in the security situation.”

“This death underscores the increasingly dangerous conditions under which these courageous monitors work, including access restrictions, threats and harassment. The United States urges Russia to use its influence with the separatists to allow the OSCE to conduct a full, transparent and timely investigation,” Toner added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed Monday to use Moscow’s influence to get Ukraine’s separatist rebels to comply with a cease-fire deal.

Lavrov made the promise at a news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after talks in Moscow.

In a separate statement, the State Department said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss his recent trip to Moscow and his message to Russian officials that Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine remain an obstacle to improved relations with the U.S.

Tillerson accepted Poroshenko’s condolences on the OSCE observer’s death and the two leaders agreed that “this tragic incident makes clear the need for all sides – and particularly the Russian-led separatist forces – to implement their commitments under the Minsk Agreements immediately,” the statement said.

The Russia-backed rebels and the Ukrainian government blamed each other for laying the mine.

The rebels and the Ukrainian government have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a war that has killed more than 9,900 people.

The monitoring mission assesses compliance with the 2-year-old Minsk peace deal that was to bring a cease-fire and heavy weapons pullback to the region. It also conducts work on human rights and civil society issues as well as mine-awareness programs.

CBSNews

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Major archaeological discovery found during church renovation

LONDON — You never know what you will find digging around an old house. Not the old Houses of Parliament, but across the river Thames in a 1,000-year-old house of worship where important people used to pray.

What workers found there lately changed their lives.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-05.jpg

CBS News

Craig Dick had found what centuries of archaeological study had missed.

“I suddenly thought I’m Indiana Jones,” Dick joked. “I hit the jackpot.”

When English passions turned from religion to gardening, what was St. Mary’s Church Lambeth was saved from demolition and turned into a horticultural museum which is under renovation. And when workers lifted a loose slab on the floor they expected to find — nothing.

A modern manhole cover now protects what Dick found. A hole in the floor, which led to a crypt full of coffins that nobody knew were there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-03.jpg

A church renovation led to a fascinating archaeological discovery: a crypt full of coffins.

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“Your heart stops, you see something,” Dick said. “And, in a sense, panic. And wonder what it is … who it is.”

There was a hint who it is.

Some clues: a golden crown, an archbishop’s mitre, a sign that among the 30 coffins a former head of the Church of England is buried here. In fact, at least two are located there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-01.jpg

Archbishop Richard Bancroft

CBS News

And one, Richard Bancroft, an archbishop from 1604 to 1610, was among the most influential heads of the Anglican Church there’s ever been.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-06.jpg

CBS News

“He played a crucial role really in the history of the Church of England because he was chosen by King James the First to oversee the production of the King James Bible,” said Elena Greer with the Garden Museum in London.

The King James Bible — the English standard text — is perhaps the most widely printed book in history.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-02.jpg

CBS News

It’s not going to hurt their appeal.

“No, and it’s timely because we’re reopening next month,” Greer said.

Timing — even in a thousand years of history — is everything.

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Major archaeological discovery found during church renovation

LONDON — You never know what you will find digging around an old house. Not the old Houses of Parliament, but across the river Thames in a 1,000-year-old house of worship where important people used to pray.

What workers found there lately changed their lives.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-05.jpg

CBS News

Craig Dick had found what centuries of archaeological study had missed.

“I suddenly thought I’m Indiana Jones,” Dick joked. “I hit the jackpot.”

When English passions turned from religion to gardening, what was St. Mary’s Church Lambeth was saved from demolition and turned into a horticultural museum which is under renovation. And when workers lifted a loose slab on the floor they expected to find — nothing.

A modern manhole cover now protects what Dick found. A hole in the floor, which led to a crypt full of coffins that nobody knew were there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-03.jpg

A church renovation led to a fascinating archaeological discovery: a crypt full of coffins.

CBS News

“Your heart stops, you see something,” Dick said. “And, in a sense, panic. And wonder what it is … who it is.”

There was a hint who it is.

Some clues: a golden crown, an archbishop’s mitre, a sign that among the 30 coffins a former head of the Church of England is buried here. In fact, at least two are located there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-01.jpg

Archbishop Richard Bancroft

CBS News

And one, Richard Bancroft, an archbishop from 1604 to 1610, was among the most influential heads of the Anglican Church there’s ever been.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-06.jpg

CBS News

“He played a crucial role really in the history of the Church of England because he was chosen by King James the First to oversee the production of the King James Bible,” said Elena Greer with the Garden Museum in London.

The King James Bible — the English standard text — is perhaps the most widely printed book in history.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-02.jpg

CBS News

It’s not going to hurt their appeal.

“No, and it’s timely because we’re reopening next month,” Greer said.

Timing — even in a thousand years of history — is everything.

CBSNews

Bu Haberi Paylaş

Major archaeological discovery found during church renovation

LONDON — You never know what you will find digging around an old house. Not the old Houses of Parliament, but across the river Thames in a 1,000-year-old house of worship where important people used to pray.

What workers found there lately changed their lives.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-05.jpg

CBS News

Craig Dick had found what centuries of archaeological study had missed.

“I suddenly thought I’m Indiana Jones,” Dick joked. “I hit the jackpot.”

When English passions turned from religion to gardening, what was St. Mary’s Church Lambeth was saved from demolition and turned into a horticultural museum which is under renovation. And when workers lifted a loose slab on the floor they expected to find — nothing.

A modern manhole cover now protects what Dick found. A hole in the floor, which led to a crypt full of coffins that nobody knew were there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-03.jpg

A church renovation led to a fascinating archaeological discovery: a crypt full of coffins.

CBS News

“Your heart stops, you see something,” Dick said. “And, in a sense, panic. And wonder what it is … who it is.”

There was a hint who it is.

Some clues: a golden crown, an archbishop’s mitre, a sign that among the 30 coffins a former head of the Church of England is buried here. In fact, at least two are located there.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-01.jpg

Archbishop Richard Bancroft

CBS News

And one, Richard Bancroft, an archbishop from 1604 to 1610, was among the most influential heads of the Anglican Church there’s ever been.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-06.jpg

CBS News

“He played a crucial role really in the history of the Church of England because he was chosen by King James the First to oversee the production of the King James Bible,” said Elena Greer with the Garden Museum in London.

The King James Bible — the English standard text — is perhaps the most widely printed book in history.

170424-en-phillips-tombs-02.jpg

CBS News

It’s not going to hurt their appeal.

“No, and it’s timely because we’re reopening next month,” Greer said.

Timing — even in a thousand years of history — is everything.

CBSNews

Bu Haberi Paylaş

General suggests Russia supplying Taliban with weapons

LONDON — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday as the country descended further into chaos.

Worsening the situation are new allegations the Russians are supplying the Taliban with weapons.

a13a14-dagata-afghanistan-transfer2.jpg

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis flies into Afghanistan

CBS News

“We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law,” Mattis said.

Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, made it clearer. A reporter asked Nicholson “So you are not refuting that they are sending weapons?”

“Oh, no, I am not refuting that,” Nicholson replied.

a13a14-dagata-afghanistan-transfer.jpg

CBS News

The visit comes after a sneak attack by the Taliban on an Afghan military base in Mazar i Sharif that killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers.

Military vehicles drove Taliban fighters dressed in Afghan army uniforms past checkpoints and into the base.

Survivors said the militants then opened fire on unarmed Afghan soldiers returning from a mosque.

Mattis called the attack “barbaric.”

The Taliban also claimed responsibility for another attack Monday at Camp Chapman, a base that houses CIA and U.S. special operations forces. In 2009, seven CIA officers were killed there in a suicide bomb attack. There are no American casualties this time.

The Taliban now control about 40 percent of the country. The U.S. sent 300 Marines to Helmand Province last week, and Nicholson has said he may need a few thousand more troops.

Despite a resurgent Taliban, the U.S. military targeted ISIS militants two weeks ago, dropping a 22,000-pound bomb on a network of caves and tunnels near the border with Pakistan. There have been no confirmation of ISIS deaths.

Mattis also said Monday that 2017 is going to be another tough year for Afghan security forces. There is no word if Nicholson’s request for more U.S. troops will be granted.

CBSNews

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General suggests Russia supplying Taliban with weapons

LONDON — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday as the country descended further into chaos.

Worsening the situation are new allegations the Russians are supplying the Taliban with weapons.

a13a14-dagata-afghanistan-transfer2.jpg

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis flies into Afghanistan

CBS News

“We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law,” Mattis said.

Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, made it clearer. A reporter asked Nicholson “So you are not refuting that they are sending weapons?”

“Oh, no, I am not refuting that,” Nicholson replied.

a13a14-dagata-afghanistan-transfer.jpg

CBS News

The visit comes after a sneak attack by the Taliban on an Afghan military base in Mazar i Sharif that killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers.

Military vehicles drove Taliban fighters dressed in Afghan army uniforms past checkpoints and into the base.

Survivors said the militants then opened fire on unarmed Afghan soldiers returning from a mosque.

Mattis called the attack “barbaric.”

The Taliban also claimed responsibility for another attack Monday at Camp Chapman, a base that houses CIA and U.S. special operations forces. In 2009, seven CIA officers were killed there in a suicide bomb attack. There are no American casualties this time.

The Taliban now control about 40 percent of the country. The U.S. sent 300 Marines to Helmand Province last week, and Nicholson has said he may need a few thousand more troops.

Despite a resurgent Taliban, the U.S. military targeted ISIS militants two weeks ago, dropping a 22,000-pound bomb on a network of caves and tunnels near the border with Pakistan. There have been no confirmation of ISIS deaths.

Mattis also said Monday that 2017 is going to be another tough year for Afghan security forces. There is no word if Nicholson’s request for more U.S. troops will be granted.

CBSNews

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