PACOM Commander Takes Blame for Carrier Carl Vinson Confusion

Princeton University professor Aaron Friedberg said North Korea could begin with a massive artillery barrage against Seoul, and unleash special forces and chemical and biological weapons, even if that would lead to the annihilation of Kim Jong Un's North Korean dictatorship.

A statement from the South Korean military said the live-fire exercises were underway in the Wonsan region in the east of the country, but gave no details on what kinds of weapons and military units took part in the drill.

The statement came after Pyongyang said it had successfully launched a new ballistic missile.

"We will continue our fight and there's still time for Thaad to be actually up and running so we will fight until equipment is withdrawn from the site and ask South Korea's new government to reconsider the plan", protester Kim Jong-kyung told Reuters news agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed a major live-fire drill on its latest military anniversary, state media reported Wednesday, an exercise seen as targeting a USA aircraft carrier and South Korea's capital.

Last week, Song Min-soon, South Korea's top diplomat from 2006-2008, reiterated that Seoul made a decision to abstain from voting on a United Nations resolution against Pyongyang's human rights abuses after consulting the communist regime.

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived Tuesday at the South Korean port of Busan for what was described as a routine visit to rest crew and load supplies. "So far, North Korea has remained silent about Kim's detention".

North Korea routinely accuses the United States of readying for an invasion, and threatens pre-emptive strikes to stop it.

The Missile Defense Agency that oversees the development of THAAD states the weapon system can intercept and destroy ballistic missiles at any trajectory in their flight, either in the final, or terminal, phase as they move towards their target. "North Korea is not a Syria, it's not an Iraq".

There is wide speculation that North Korea could be planning to carry out a nuclear test on Tuesday, timed to coincide with a celebration of its military's founding anniversary.

The Pacific commander said that he was taking Kim Jong Un at his word that the North Korean leader is determined to develop a long-range nuclear missile that could strike the U.S. and that should "provide us all a sense of urgency" to ensure USA forces in the Pacific are prepared.

South Korean newspapers are questioning whether President Donald Trump is tuning out South Korea as he shapes his North Korea strategy.

He says U.N. Security Council resolutions and sanctions on Pyongyang must be fully implemented.

North Korea is making steady progress toward developing ballistic missiles capable of hitting the USA, and its capabilities will match its rhetoric if left unchecked, the commander of US forces in South Korea said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged "restraint" on North Korea in a telephone call with President Trump on Monday.

The deployment runs counter to the principle of resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and negotiation as well as the goal of denuclearising the peninsula, the spokesman added.

A THAAD battery, including the one now being installed in southern South Korea, consists of six truck-mounted launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles.

The top USA military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is "clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today" with a ballistic missile attack and that the Pentagon should consider adding new ballistic missile interceptors and defensive radar there to counter that possibility.

Just before the entire U.S. Senate was due to receive a top-level briefing on North Korea at the White House, Admiral Harry Harris said he believed Pyongyang's threats against the United States needed to be taken seriously.

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