US Military is 'locked and loaded,' Trump says in latest warning to North Korea

11 Aug 2017, 20:52 ( 5 days ago)

online desk
President Donald Trump, at his New Jersey golf club

President Donald Trump says the US military is "locked and loaded" to deal with North Korea, ramping up the rhetorical brinkmanship. Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!" he tweeted. Trump's latest warning came a day after he cautioned North Korea that "things will happen to them like they never thought possible" should the isolated country attack the United States or its allies. Trump also told reporters that his previous day's threat of "fire and fury" may not have been "tough enough," even as he sought to reassure an anxious world that he has the situation under control. The escalation in rhetoric by Trump - which some U.S. leaders and allies have criticized - comes as North Korea has stepped up its threats against the United States, including a potential missile launch landing near the U.S. territory of Guam. Trump's tweet and statements to reporters on Thursday came from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on what the White House called a working vacation at his private golf club. Moscow said the exchange of threats between Washington and Pyongyang "worry us very much".

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rated the risk of military conflict as "very high" as he put forward a joint Russian-Chinese plan to defuse the crisis. Also on Friday, North Korea's official KCNA news agency accused Washington of a "criminal attempt to impose nuclear disaster upon the Korean nation”. Pyongyang’s media outlet said America was making "desperate efforts" to test weapons in the Korean peninsula The US is "the mastermind of nuclear threat, the heinous nuclear war fanatic", the report said. World leaders have increasingly called on Trump and Kim to dial down their comments and posturing. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the bombast from both sides was "going over the top" and urged for a return to diplomacy. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no military solution to the North Korea crisis, and called the escalating rhetoric the "wrong answer." Tensions have escalated since North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.The regime was further angered by last week's UN decision to increase economic sanctions against it.

North Korea has said it will within days finalise a plan to fire medium-to-long-range rockets towards Guam, where US strategic bombers are based, along with more than 160,000 US citizens. There has been no indication that any actual attack on the Pacific island is imminent. On Thursday Mr Trump suggested that his own statements on North Korea had not been tough enough, warning the regime to be "very, very nervous”. However, he added that the US would always consider negotiations. He also chided the North's closest ally, China, saying it could do "a lot more”. China’s state-run Global Times newspaper wrote that Beijing should stay neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the US. Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his nation would be prepared to join a conflict against North Korea if the US came under attack. Australia would honour its commitment under a 1951 treaty, he said, "as America would come to our aid if we were attacked".

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