World News

North Korea warns of 'merciless strike' ahead of US-South Korea drills

North Korea warns of 'merciless strike' ahead of US-South Korea drills

Three top US military commanders plan to issue a strong warning message to North Korea in a rare joint press availability here later Tuesday, officials said.

That sparked a grim warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain "fire and fury" on the North.

"All South Koreans have worked so hard together to rebuild the country from the ruins of the Korean War", Moon told a press conference marking his first 100 days in office. "So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war".

Moon's comments follow a spike in animosity generated by North Korea's warning that it might send missiles into waters near the USA territory of Guam, and Trump's warlike language.

"The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

Officials from the two countries denied speculation that links the decrease in the number of US participants to an effort to cool down tensions on the peninsula.

This week, US and South Korean forces will take part in annual military exercises.

It apparently reflects Washington's alertness against North Korea's rapid development of nuclear bombs and missiles.

Moon was elected in May after a decade of conservative rule that saw animosity deepen between the rival Koreas.

China on Monday reiterated its call for the U.S.to halt the drills as part of its "suspension-for-suspension" proposal that would also require Kim to freeze nuclear and missile tests.

"A dialogue between South and North Korea must resume".

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"I don't think we must rush into it", he said.

"The Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises will be like pouring gasoline on fire and worsen the state of the peninsula".

But Moon said Seoul effectively had a veto on military action by the United States, its security ally and protector.

"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so". "It's a firm agreement between South Korea and the United States", Moon said.

Only weeks ago it said it was considering firing a salvo of missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam. A miscalculation on either side could lead to military confrontation.

The Australians will work in the command and control post. And they're not the only interaction this week between the USA and South Korea.

China is the North's only major ally.

NORTH KOREA has warned Australia it has committed a "suicidal act" by pledging its allegiance to the USA and sending defence force members to join military exercises with American and South Korean forces.

North Korean news agency KCNA has since reported that Australia's allegiance to the USA and its decision to take part in a military drill in South Korea was a "suicidal act".

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon said on Wednesday there could be no military solution to the stand-off.

"There's no military solution (to North Korea's nuclear threats), forget it", Bannon said in an interview with The American Prospect.


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