North Korea and USA dial down war of words

16 August, 2017, 05:51 | Author: Lorena Waters

The officials in charge of North Korea's missile programme could complete their preparations by next week and would then wait for the 33-year-old leader to decide what to do next.

Kim said he would "watch a little more" Washington's behavior, but it will make an "important" decision if the United States continues its "extremely risky reckless actions". "China can shut down North Korea instantly", former NATO Commander James Stavridis told VOA's Serbian service. It seems unlikely that North Korea could satisfactorily test its missiles near Guam until its capability improves. The U.S. dollar and Treasury yields climbed after solid U.S. retail data and the easing in U.S.

Dunford said the United States wants to peacefully resolve tensions with North Korea. On Aug. 9, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted there was "no imminent threat" despite the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang; in a visit to South Korea on Aug. 14, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford reassured his counterparts that the USA was pursuing "diplomatic solutions", according to Bloomberg.

The United States and South Korea insist their annual joint exercises are purely defensive, and can not be linked to the North's missile programme, which violates a host of UN resolutions.

Tensions between North Korea and the USA have escalated after two ICBMs were tested by Kim Jong.

"We do not seek an excuse to garrison United States troops north of the Demilitarised Zone", they wrote.

Kim said on Tuesday that he would watch how the US will behave a little more before making decisions on the attack.

"We now hope that all the concerned parties, in what they say and what they do, can contribute to extinguishing the fire, rather than adding fuel to the fire", foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

The North has always denounced the drills as provocative rehearsals for an invasion and in the past offered a moratorium on further nuclear and missile testing in exchange for their cancellation - a trade-off promoted by Pyongyang's main ally China, but repeatedly rejected by Washington and Seoul.

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Japan, which would be under the flight path of any missile fired towards Guam, will be seeking further reassurance from Washington in meetings between Japan's defence chief and foreign minister and their US counterparts on Thursday.

"There must be no more war on the Korean peninsula".

Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday sent a conciliatory message to North Korea in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, which also appeared aimed at easing China's concerns about US intentions towards its neighbour.

North Korea likes to mark important dates, and there are two of note. -South Korean military drills that are scheduled to begin next week.

However, North Korea reiterated its threats, with KCNA saying "war can not be blocked by any power if sparks fly due to a small, random incident that was unintentional". "What matters is that when a second Korean War breaks out, it would be a nuclear war".

The statement could help reduce tensions in the region.

This might be hard as the United States and its ally South Korea plan next week to start annual defensive military drills that the North claims are preparation for invasion.

Steve Ganyard, an ABC News aviation contributor and retired Marine Corps colonel, agreed: "Kim Jong Un is a rational man, so the whole goal is regime survival".

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