HIGH ALERT: North Korea moving missiles, say US

Cheryl Sanders
August 16, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with scientists and technicians following launch of intercontinental ballistic missile.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has warned that if North Korea fires at the US, the situation could quickly escalate into war, the media reported on Tuesday.

The North Korean People's Army pushed back saying preparations were underway to launch a missile over Japan to land near the USA territory of Guam.

The Nikkei reported Kim engaged in serious and lengthy discussions with North Korea military commanders after receiving the report.

HIGH ALERT: North Korea moving missiles, say US

"He said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely unsafe (and) reckless actions on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the latter will make an important decision as it already declared", the report said.

Just days ago Trump said military options against North Korea were "locked and loaded".

US President Donald Trump is due to speak with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a phone call Monday night in the US. North Korean officials in turn have accused the USA leader of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. Next week's start of U.S. That will include rigorous enforcement of sanctions, leaving no North Korean source of revenue untouched.

Mattis's comments came after he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal that America has "no interest" in regime change in Pyongyang or the accelerated reunification of the two Koreas, and stressed the importance of a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Pyongyang's saber rattling comes a week after the North Korean army declared it will launch four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam by mid-August.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., welcomed Trump's pugnacious approach, arguing that numerous president's critics failed to stop North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon that could hit the United States.

Advocates for diplomacy see hopeful signs in the Trump administration's willingness to talk without rigid preconditions.

"If the planned fire of power demonstration is carried out as the United States is going more reckless, it will be the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks", the report said. China accounts for 90 percent of North Korea's trade and has been reluctant to punish the regime economically for fear of collapse.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula eased slightly on Monday as South Korea's president said resolving Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions must be done peacefully and key US officials played down the risk of an imminent war with North Korea. It also said that the two "reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

But he also made clear that while the military was poised to protect Guam from the North Korean military threat, a declaration of war was a decision that remains with Trump and Congress.

White House officials have insisted the investigation was not created to apply additional pressure on China as it relates to North Korea despite the president's previous remarks that he would be more amenable on trade if China stopped Pyongyang's nuclear program.

That could refer to the U.S.

Other reports by iNewsToday