Mattis warns of escalation into war if N. Korea attacks US

Catholics on the island of Guam pray during Mass at Santa Barbara Church Aug. 13

Catholics on the island of Guam pray during Mass at Santa Barbara Church Aug. 13

Guam and the USA air and naval forces that are based there have been under alert since it was named by North Korea as a potential demonstration target, with the regime threatening to fire missiles into the sea near the island that's home to some 160,000 people.

Kim's comments, however, come with an nearly hidden tone of moderation. Yes, the United States eventually wins that contest, but at what cost? A miscalculation on either side could lead to military confrontation. That appeared to signal a path to defuse the crisis.

KCNA said Kim's visit was made on Monday.

But the question is whether or not everybody who needs to understand that, understands that. They're both insecure. They both have monumental egos, easily bruised. "Kim Jong-un is acting as we expect him to behave". "The exercises remain important to us, and we'll continue to move forward", he said, according to Stars and Stripes.

The Liberation day holiday, a rare one celebrated by both North and South, will be followed next week by joint U.S.

Benjamin Habib, a Korea expert at Australia's La Trobe University, said opinions about military drills fall into two broad camps.

But despite appearing to back down, officials told USA media that satellites have observed DPRK mobile missile launcher movement - suggesting an intermediate-ballistic missile may be being prepared.

Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio told the media Tuesday that North Korea appears to be holding off on an imminent launch of missiles into waters near the USA territory in the Pacific.

The U.S. has missile defenses on Guam, at sea and in the continental U.S. that are created to shoot down ballistic missiles.

"The nuclear force of the DPRK is strong in its guts and no one can guess its muscle as the flight trajectory of medium-to-long ballistic rocket Hwasong-12, firing data and the correct hitting-point are made public at home and overseas".

A North Korean military statement on Thursday said its plan to strike Guam with intermediate missiles would be ready by mid-August and its implementation would depend on a decision by the Communist nation's top leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. remains poised to attack North Korea
Tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops are expected to take part in training for a war with North Korea. These comments come following a week of verbal escalation between the United States and North Korea.

Although prepared for "the enveloping fire at Guam", the North said it would watch what "the foolish Yankees" do before taking a decision.

He claimed it will be "the most delightful historic moment" when the weapons "wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks", according to state media.

He also warned that any such attack targeting American soil could quickly escalate into war.

"That becomes an issue that we take up, and it's however the president chooses", Mattis said. The Pentagon meanwhile warned that any strike against the United States could "very quickly" escalate into war.

"We also call on North Korea to echo this in response", Hua told a daily news briefing.

Kim allegedly said the North Korea plan for the Hwasong-12 is a "delicate and elaborate operation", and also said "the actions of the United States need to be monitored a little more".

If they "persist in their extremely unsafe reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea would then take action "as already declared", he added".

State media released photos of their leader looking at maps alongside military chiefs during an inspection of North Korea's Strategic Forces, which handles the country's missile programme, on Monday. The US has stated this would be an unacceptable provocation.

Guam is a USA territory where many of its 160,000 residents have long advocated for a different form of government; they just can't agree on what they want. "There's a host of things going on". North Korea has always maintained that it needs a modern and sophisticated army to defend itself against the USA and its allies.

"The object of our peaceful pressure campaign is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in a joint op-ed article published by the Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the contacts who spoke on condition of anonymity say discussions have addressed deteriorating relations and three Americans detained in North Korea.

The threat came as the United States announced a plan to send B-52 bombers over South Korea for military exercises with Seoul.

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