North Korea warns of 'second Korean War' ahead of joint drills

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 15, 2017

Concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon has caused tension to spike in recent months.

USA officials and South Korea's president in recent days have played down the risk of an imminent conflict after Washington and Pyongyang exchanged fiery rhetoric last week. The North didn't mention the ambassadors' recent arrival Monday.

Mattis was reluctant to speak in detail about how the Trump administration will handle future North Korean missile launches.

Mattis said the United States would know the trajectory of a North Korean missile "within moments" and if a missile is assessed to be hitting Guam, "we will take it out".

Their recent exchanges were focused on a North Korean threat to fire a volley of four missiles over Japan towards the U.S. territory of Guam, which hosts a number of strategic military bases.

Abe said he also praised a commitment by Trump that the United States would ensure the security of USA allies in the region as threats from North Korea intensify.

"In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the risky military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the U.S. to make a proper option first", he added. This might be hard as the United States and South Korea prepare for their military drills next week.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Kim might conduct another missile test but talk of being on the cusp of a nuclear war was overstating the risk.

Moon, in a televised speech Tuesday on the anniversary of the end of World War II and the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, said that Seoul and Washington agree that the crisis over the North's nuclear program should "absolutely be solved peacefully", and that no US military action on the Korean Peninsula could be taken without Seoul's consent.

But he added there could be no dialogue before the North halts its "nuclear and missile provocations".

"Our government will put everything on the line to prevent another war on the Korean Peninsula", Moon. "Whatever ups and downs we face, the North Korean nuclear situation must be resolved peacefully", President Moon Jae-in told a meeting with senior aides and advisers. Washington has repeatedly stated that it does not rule out any options to solve the North Korean problem, including the military one.

"If they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly", Mattis told reporters.

The North Korean Government has urged some of its most important ambassadors in Pyongyang, including China, Russia, and the United Nations, sources from inside have revealed.

The North followed the May launch with two flight tests of its Hwasong-14 ICBM last month.

The North's latest report said Kim ordered his military to be prepared to launch the missiles toward Guam at any time.

The intelligence chief defended Trump's "fire and fury" threat to North Korea last week, saying he "made clear to the North Korea regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken".

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