Top US General Jets Into Asia as North Korea Tensions Run High


North Korea, of course, responded in kind, using the same pugnacious language its propaganda machine has fired off for years, but also specifically threatening to strike around Guam, a US territory in the Pacific that is home to about 200,000 American citizens and a major USA military presence.

"The United States, which was the first to bring numerous strategic nuclear equipment near us, should first make the right decision and show through actions if they wish to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and prevent a risky military clash", Kim was cited as saying in a report by state news outlet, KCNA.

To be specific, the big move came Monday as China agreed to ban imports of North Korean iron, lead, and coal as part of new United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korea's has today repeated previous assertions that its plan was to fire missiles to land in the ocean "near" Guam, not at Guam itself.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo has offered assurances there is "nothing imminent" in the U.S. standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea, but said he will not be surprised if Pyongyang conducts another missile test.

Calvo, a Republican, said Trump was being unfairly criticized over his handling of the North Korea crisis, which escalated when Pyongyang announced plans to launch missiles toward Guam in a "crucial warning". "He's made very clear that the United States finds it unacceptable for a rogue leader like Kim Jong-un to have the capacity of a ballistic missile with a warhead that is integrated and fully deliverable to the United States and hold America and the world at risk", he said.

"What matters is that if a second conflict (on the peninsula) erupts, that can not help but lead to a nuclear war", the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.

Governor Calvo said "as the head of the government of Guam, I appreciate [the USA government's] reassurances that my family, my friends, everyone on this island, are all safe".

Pompeo praised the efforts of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in getting China and Russian Federation to join in a unanimous U.N. vote recently to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, amid the country's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. "Beijing, even if it temporarily acquiesced, would not long abide an American strategy of determining by itself outcomes at the very edge of China's heartland, as its intervention in the Korean War of the 1950s demonstrated".

The tests prompted the United States to seek a seventh round of tough sanctions against North Korea, approved unanimously on August 5 by the U.N. Security Council. By suspending them, South Korea would have an opportunity to pursue inter-Korean military-to-military dialogue with the North, while reinstating basic communications channels, including hotlines, which were cut off early past year.

The young North Korean leader previously disappeared for two weeks before the two test launches of Hwasong-14s.

He has made clear to allies and rivals alike that the United States is willing, to use the phrase of Cold War nuclear strategists, to "think the unthinkable"-that is, plan for and launch a nuclear war".

Dunford said last month that it was "unimaginable" to allow North Korea to develop the capability to strike a USA city with a nuclear weapon. "We have the whole world voting to sanction North Korea, something that hasn't happened for an awfully long time", he said.

Tuesday marks the anniversary of Japan's expulsion from the Korean peninsula, a rare holiday celebrated by both the North and the South. Moon and Kim are both expected to make addresses on their respective sides of the heavily militarised border.

"President Trump is not your conventional elected leader, what he says and how he says it is a lot different from what was said by previous presidents", Calvo said.

"There's nothing imminent", Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday".

Concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon has ratcheted up global concerns in recent months. -China trade. China strenuously rejects linking the two issues.