N'KOREA NUCLEAR THREAT: US, Japan step up defence cooperation

N'KOREA NUCLEAR THREAT: US, Japan step up defence cooperation

As such, American officials, including U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have implied they are prepared to intercept missiles launched in Guam's direction from North Korea ― an act Pyongyang has more or less suggested it would consider an invasion.

Before his meeting with the Prime Minister, Dunford held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, during which they again stressed the importance of defence cooperation between the United States and Japan in the face of growing regional tension created by North Korea.

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry says North Korea knows its army isn't as strong as others and believes a nuclear bomb would level the playing field.

Military action is "not our preferred pathway", he said, stressing the USA continues to enlist the support of its partners and allies to pressure Pyongyang to the point that it realizes its future is "bleak, and will only become bleaker if they continue this pathway".

Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision.

But if North Korea succeeds in building nuclear missiles that can reach the continental USA, the equation changes.

Tillerson reiterated that the United States wanted dialogue with Pyongyang, but only if it were meaningful. Second, the secretary said, the United States and Japan have deepened and broadened their combined military efforts by improving bilateral relations and exercises.

Abe told Dunford he wants to work together to bolster the Japan-U.S. alliance, noting the threat from North Korea, which last week said it was considering launching ballistic missiles over the Japanese archipelago to waters near Guam, a U.S. territory in the western Pacific.

Tensions have risen after North Korea conducted two missile tests in July which, like its five atomic bomb tests, were carried out in defiance of worldwide pressure and United Nations resolutions.

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In Seoul on Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he had received assurances from visiting Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the United States would take no military action against North Korea without first getting his government's agreement.

Earlier this week, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert answered a similar question with "They know what they should do", without specifying exactly what North Korea needs to do for the USA to begin a dialogue with Pyongyang.

The United States and its allies in East Asia have ratcheted up their rhetoric against North Korea in the recent weeks following repeated North Korean missile tests.

"This kind of threat has to be backed by a strong military effect if North Korea chooses wrongly", Tillerson added.

"As you might imagine, we've spent a fair amount of time discussing North Korea".

Still, it's unclear how the North will respond next week, when the USA and South Korea are set to begin annual joint military exercises that Pyongyang detests.

CHOI DONG-SAM, from Busan at the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, said North Korea would bear ultimate responsibility for any conflict that breaks out, regardless of the circumstances. Despite pressure from the worldwide community, Pyongyang has made no secret of its nuclear ambitions.

"I think the blame is mostly on Kim Jong Un". We will remain vigilant against the North Korean threats through our military preparedness.

The U.S.is bound by treaty to defend Japan from outside attacks against the allied country. In April, the U.S. sent its Carl Vinson aircraft carrier towards the Korean Peninsula, saying it was taking prudent measures against the North.

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