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North Korean military ratchets up war rhetoric

16 Août 2017

North Korea's state news agency has reported that the DPRK's president Kim Jong Un has been briefed on a missile test next to the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. are increasing, with Guam at the centre of the war words between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

Earlier, US Defence Secretary James Mattis warned that any attack by North Korea could quickly escalate into war.

During Trump's phone conversation Friday with Xi, the Chinese leader also requested that the US and North Korea tone down their recent rhetoric and avoid actions that could worsen tensions between the two nations, Chinese Central Television reported.

"While diplomacy is our preferred means of changing North Korea's course of action, it is backed by military options", they said. It's actually hard to tell from the audio (listen below) if Mattis' was asking a question or making a statement when he said "I'm assuming they've hit the United States".

"We are on full alert and well-prepared to respond to any contingency situation", Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor and a military expert at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul urged caution in assuming North Korea was bluffing with its missile threats.

But the two USA secretaries also described the regime in Pyongyang as "hostile".

Zoom in on these pictures from state media and they show a trajectory starting on North Korea's east coast, home to its submarine base, and moving over Japan, before landing roughly 20 miles from the Guam shoreline.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Secretary Mattis said if North Korea fires missiles or attacks the USA mainland in any way, then "it's game on". We're going to try our best to make sure it does not hit the United States.

But he also made clear that while the military was poised to protect Guam from the North Korean military threat, a declaration of war was a decision that remains with President Donald Trump and Congress.

"I don't think military action is imminent, but we're on a collision course with North Korea", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday".

"The urgent task is to slam the brakes on the mutually provocative words and actions between North Korea and the United States", the Chinese statement said.

The DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "We are hopeful that the leader of that country will understand them in precisely the way they are intended, to permit him a place to get where we can get the nuclear weapons off the peninsula".

North Korean military ratchets up war rhetoric