Top South Korean official: Trump comments 'very worrisome,' causing 'confusion'

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According to the BBC, Dunford stressed that America's priority was diplomacy, although military options were available should sanctions against the North fail.

Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made clear on Monday that Washington is ready "to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies and the U.S. homeland", according to United States military spokesman Capt. Darryn James, as cited by AP.

The incidence of saber-rattling and belligerent rhetorical exchanges has escalated significantly in recent weeks between the North Korea and the US, Japan and South Korea.

US President Donald Trump said that the North will meet with "fire and fury" should it continue to endanger the US.

North Korea, meanwhile, has threatened to lob four intermediate-range missiles into the waters near the USA territory of Guam.

Pompeo said Kim responds to "adverse circumstances", suggesting that the North Korean leader will realize he doesn't want a military confrontation with Washington.

"It is probably fair to say they are moving toward that at an ever-alarming rate", he said when asked whether North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S.

The Journal reported that Dunford said the goal of his visit to Seoul was to reassure a critical ally of USA support and, as noted above, he said it's important "that the Korean people and the American people know that we are capable of protecting them right now against a limited attack and certainly prepared to respond in the event that deterrence fails". He said on Thursday that the US works closely with its allies to ensure that any military response wouldn't be unilateral, warning that the impact of a conflict "would be catastrophic". North Korea's GDP is half that of Vermont - the U.S. state with the lowest GDP! The UN Security Council slapped a fresh US-led sanctions resolution on it. On Friday, Trump said that if Kim makes any "overt threat" or strike at a US territory or ally "he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast". "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump".

Main Benefactor China is North Korea's main benefactor, providing most of its food and fuel.

"The bigger danger or focus should be ensuring that North Korea doesn't use those capabilities", Bush told VOA. On Monday, he plans to take steps that will increase pressure on China over what the US perceives to be theft of intellectual property. "The North Korean people, I'm sure, are lovely people and would love to see him go as well".

The North on Monday said any war could "only be turned into a nuclear war". Success in that campaign would be a North Korean commitment to denuclearization and a halt of missile tests, they added.

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