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US, Japan step up defense cooperation to counter North Korea

US, Japan step up defense cooperation to counter North Korea

"I think we should stick to the principle of denuclearization (on the Korean Peninsula)", he said when asked about lawmakers from the main opposition Liberty Party of Korea, who vowed to push for redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to prevent against the North's military threat.

Over the last ten days, Pyongyang has threatened to fire missiles toward the US territory of Guam, and Trump promised to visit "fire" and "fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the USA, before warning his military was "locked and loaded" and ready for battle.

Just last week, Pyongyang said it had finalized a plan to fire four missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam. Trump praised Kim for chainging course, tweeting that it was a "very wise and well-informed decision".

The intense rhetoric on both sides has raised fears of a miscalculation leading to catastrophic consequences - Pyongyang has vast artillery forces deployed within range of Seoul, where millions of people live. Trump said via Twitter.

Doing this would be a purely defensive act, of course, but with the added benefit of dealing a major political, military and public relations blow to the regime and the potentates of propaganda in Pyongyang.

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Kim Jong Un reportedly consulted with senior military officials about his plans to fire missiles towards Guam. He added it was incumbent on the U.S.to "stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK (North Korea) and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer".

The US has about 28,000 troops in South Korea.

Officials at the sprawling Anderson Air Force Base wouldn't say how many B1 bombers, with their distinct variable wings, are stationed here, but even on our short visit we counted six, backed up by KC 135 refuelling aircraft. Moreover, no American citizens were advised to leave the regions and no sailors were recalled off leave to prepare for emergency operations.

Tensions between North Korea and the USA have risen in recent weeks as their respective leaders' exchanged harsh rhetoric. Last month, Pyongyang conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Rumors of war with North Korea are subsiding for now, but another serious threat is still growing.

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But North Korean media reported Tuesday that Kim had delayed the decision while he waited to see what the United States did next.

"I don't want to see the destruction of North Korea, but I want to see my president tell the world that if they attack Guam, then the effect is the annihilation of their regime", he said.

But their stance was partly undermined yesterday when President Donald Trump's strategy chief, Steve Bannon, told a news magazine: "There's no military solution".

While North Korea's Deputy Ambassador Kim In-ryong expressed interest in negotiations during his conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he cautioned that the worldwide community shouldn't expect the nuclear program to be immediately on the table.

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