Top US military officer warns NKorea that US military ready

Top US military officer warns NKorea that US military ready

Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting South Korea, Japan and China after a week in which Trump declared the USA military "locked and loaded" and said he was ready to unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States.

Payne told the local ABC radio station that "Australia has played a small role itself since 2010 and I think we have just over two dozen ADF members participating on this occasion".

"I will prevent war at all cost", he added.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her US counterpart Rex Tillerson agreed earlier this month to begin negotiations to revise the guidelines on Seoul's missile capability "as early as possible" when they met in Manila on the sidelines of a regional security forum.

North Korea announced a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Tensions began to subside as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un indicated that he would hold off on the launch against Guam, saying Monday that he would watch Washington's behavior "a little more".

Talking about Trump's war rhetoric, Moon said: "US President Trump is trying to pressure North Korea by showing a firm resolution", he said. But his efforts have so far been met with a string of threats and missile tests as the North works to build nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the US mainland.

The military pact was last invoked by the Australian government following the 9/11 terror attacks by Al Qaeda in the US.

Lobbing missiles toward Guam, a major US military hub in the Pacific, would be deeply provocative from the USA perspective.

President Trump responded to the Post report by vowing that North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Few diplomats or arms control experts foresee Kim abandoning his nuclear arsenal - now estimated to include 20 to 60 bombs - and Tillerson has publicly said North Korea should stop testing ballistic missiles as a confidence-building measure to allow diplomacy to proceed.

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Tensions have increased as North Korea advanced toward being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear-armed missile.

"Military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea", said Moon in televised comments.

"There have always been issues between North Korea and the United States, but we've shown restraint", he said.

More important, Kim's apparent decision not to fire a missile salvo toward Guam does not alleviate the larger USA concern: North Korea's surprising progress in developing a long-range missile powerful enough to reach California, although not yet with a nuclear warhead.

"The urgent task is to slam the brakes on the mutually provocative words and actions between North Korea and the United States", the Chinese statement said. -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more hard.

In 2005, North Korea reached an agreement with six countries to suspend its nuclear programme in return for diplomatic rewards and energy assistance but the deal later collapsed.

The North has been subjected to seven sets of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear programme, the latest earlier this month, with China, its main ally and benefactor, promising to comply.

Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month that appeared to bring much of the United States within range, triggering an intense warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain "fire and fury" on the North.

North Korea appears to have left open some room for a quid pro quo, added Narang.

The more North Korea repeats provocations, the more the worldwide community pays attention to China.

Beijing has grown increasingly exasperated with its wayward neighbour, but fears instability and the prospect of U.S. troops on its border in a united Korea.

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