United States remains poised to attack North Korea

South Korea and U.S. soldiers stand guard during a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice Agreement at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zo

Hours before the warning, U.S. President Donald Trump said that if the DPRK continues threats against his country, Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury".

Presidential Spokesman Park Soo-hyun said Moon made the call toward Pyongyang during a meeting with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford at the presidential office on Monday.

"Nobody's looking for war", the four-star general added.

"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.

North Korea's state-run media today condemned the planned military drills and said the U.S. is "letting out risky war rhetoric". The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills, which will run from August 21 to August 31, have already drawn criticism from North Korea. The world is uniting against the North Korean threat, and even China - North Korea's only ally - voted for the resolution. The island is also home to a large United States military presence, a fact that has led to tension with some local residents, particularly those of the indigenous Chamorro community. The trip has been long scheduled and was not arranged in response to the North Korean nuclear threat.

The tests are seen as a milestone in the North's quest to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland. "What we are focused on now is continued capability of development and where Kim Jong-un maybe in the future". But they're also saying that the possibility of war with the reclusive Asian nation is greater than it was a decade ago. -South Korean alliance can defend South Korea, Pacific allies and the American homeland from nuclear and missile threats emanating from North Korea, two top American military officials said here today.

While indicating divisions within the Trump administration, the remarks of Pompeo and McMaster are hardly reassuring.

In response to Trump's threats, Pyongyang has lashed out with its own warnings in a desperate bid to stall any United States attack.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might conduct another missile test but talk of being on the cusp of a nuclear war was overstating the risk. "Military advisers who don't believe in a pre-emptive strike know they will have to keep the president convinced that the United States would be unwise to take that approach".

However, North Korea reiterated its threats, with its official KCNA news agency saying "war can not be blocked by any power if sparks fly due to a small, random incident that was unintentional". Moreover, he has the backing of powerful sections of the American ruling elite that regard the removal of the Pyongyang regime as a necessary part of a broader strategy of undermining and subordinating China.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping called Trump on Saturday to urge restraint regarding the North Korean crisis, advising both Washington and Pyongyang to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation.

"Gen. Dunford just arrived in Osan Air Base to meet with US Forces Korea leadership and explore the Camp Humphreys area with his team on board 2 UH-60 Black Hawks", a statement on the Joint Staff Facebook page said.

The United States is adopting a policy of "strategic accountability" towards North Korea, the officials wrote, but it is not clear how this significantly differs from the "strategic patience" Korea policy of former President Barack Obama.



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