Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

US, South Korean defence chiefs to meet this month - Pentagon

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise which will run from August 21st to the end of this month traces its roots to the joint South Korea-U.S. command post exercises back in the 1950s. Pyongyang reiterated that it has the capability to attack Guam, Hawaii, and the United States mainland with nuclear strikes.

The U.S. -South Korea military exercises are set to last for ten days, and they will consist of 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean troops.

Mr Tillerson and Mr Mattis met with Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono and defence minister Itsunori Onodera to discuss the threats posed by North Korea's continued development of its nuclear and ballistic weapons programme, as well as other topics. "We want to bring Kim Jong Un to his senses, not to his knees".

Kim would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees", a North Korean statement said last week.

"Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us", Bannon was quoted as saying. Pyongyang, however, warns against the military drills. However, the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive.

Pyongyang later said it was holding off firing towards Guam while it waited to see what the United States would do next.

"The Korean People's Army is keeping a high alert, fully ready to contain the enemies".

"I can confidently say there will not be war again on the Korean Peninsula".

It did not provide any details on what it meant by "preventive war".

Donald Trump had said the United States military is "locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely", having previously warned Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten America. That said, Pyongyang's recent intercontinental missile launches have prompted him to take a harder stance on the isolated regime. Much of the discussion focused on North Korea, which also poses a threat to Japan. It is the longest range ballistic missile North Korea has tested to date, and the first ICBM North Korea has flown.

"In close collaboration with our allies, there are strong military consequences if the DPRK initiates hostilities", he said.

The comments come as the crisis on the peninsula appears to be cooling.

The United States - which backed Seoul in the war against the Chinese and Soviet-backed North - maintains about 28,500 servicemembers in South Korea.

There will be no war on the Korean peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In said yesterday, saying Seoul effectively had a veto over U.S. military action in response to the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

OPINION: What are Trump's options on North Korea? .

The meetings took place after Stephen K. Bannon, Trump's strategic advisor, told a magazine that there was no military solution to the North Korea problem.

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