A new approach for North Korea's nuclear weapon threat

Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews last week. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews last week. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

So it's worth considering what the United States and/or South Korea might do under a variety of scenarios. A U.S. defense official, who wanted to remain anonymous, said either an intermediate-range missile known as a KN-20 or a Hwasong-14, would "probably" be launched as it is the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

After threatening this week to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it tries to attack the United States, president Donald Trump has again cranked up his bellicose rhetoric saying "there are no mixed messages" and suggesting that perhaps his earlier warning "wasn't tough enough". She said, "Secretary Tillerson is really offering China, now is your chance to really get serious again to work with".

If U.S. territory is threatened, countermeasures are a no-brainer. Trump expressed hope that the US would not have to use this "power", but remained confident in the strength of the country.

President Donald Trump said this week that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if dictator Kim Jong Un continues on his current track to develop nuclear weapons and threaten nations of the world with pre-emptive attacks.

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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told reporters Thursday the U.S.is focused on a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat but that it's his job to have military options ready if they're needed. "And we should be prepared too". It test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile twice in July, making it realistic that North Korea will deploy nuclear missiles that have the US mainland within their range.

Japan's missile defense scheme employs Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyers to shoot down airborne missiles, and the ASDF's PAC-3 system to counter missiles that evade Aegis interceptors. North Korea has always denied any wrongdoing.

"The greatest threat to both states remains shorter range artillery, artillery rockets and stockpiles of short-to-medium range missiles. The focus will primarily remain upon bolstering defensive rather than offensive capabilities", said Reed Foster, a defense analyst for IHS Jane's.

A White House official downplayed Trump's latest declaration, telling CNN there were military plans for "just about any crisis we may face in the world" and they were regularly updated. US bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula several times to show American strength after Pyongyang's missile tests.

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The United States and North Korea have repeatedly exchanged hard-line rhetoric, as if to show no hesitation to go to war. In violation of that agreement as well as U.N. Security Council resolutions, North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests. "Asian stock markets closed lower and European indexes opened sharply down on fears that the verbal back-and-forth between Washington and Pyongyang had raised the risk of actual conflict".

The South, which hosts US$28,500 (RM122,250) troops on its soil to defend it from the North, is banned from building its own nuclear weapons under an atomic energy deal it signed in 1974 with the United States - its security guarantor that instead offers Seoul a "nuclear umbrella" against potential attacks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday she opposed any use of force to resolve the conflict with North Korea, AFP reported.

President Donald Trump has issued tough warnings to North Korea in response. In addition to the ground invasion, the United States introduced nearly indiscriminate carpet bombings that killed thousands of North Korean civilians. The 21,600-pound GBU-43 bomb is one of the largest non-nuclear devices used in combat.

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