Trump administration officials sound alarm on nuclear North Korea

Posted October 21, 2017

"Our nuclear programme and weapons are aimed at the USA", the diplomat said in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.

It's a different North Korea that the world is facing right now, one that could see Japan and South Korea arming with nuclear weapons, and setting off longer term effects in Northeast Asia, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Oct 19.

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Amid escalating tensions with North Korea over its aggressive missile tests and development of nuclear warheads, combined with sabre-rattling from Donald Trump, 72 per cent of the population fears the country will become embroiled in such a war within four years.

On Monday, the United States and South Korean navies kicked off a five-day round of military drills, featuring the USS Stetham and the USS Mustin guided-missile destroyers, as well as the USS Reagan supercarrier.

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In a separate statement on Thursday, the South Korean navy said the Korea-based three-axis system that includes Kill Chain, Seoul's pre-emptive strike system, is under review.

She cited this week's "unprecedented" joint naval drills between the United States and South Korea that began Monday and ended earlier Friday, involving about 40 vessels including an aircraft carrier, as well as recent B1-B strategic bomber flights over the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean state-run news agency warned, however, that "reckless military gambling against the DPRK" may result in the "total destruction" of the US. Kim Jong-un called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" and pledged to "tame him with fire", while the USA president called the North Korean leaders a "little rocket man on a suicide mission". In the coming months and years, tough and consistent sanctions will further cripple North Korea's economy. The President has responded to Pyongyang's missile tests with a flurry of rhetoric; in his inaugural speech at the UN, Mr Trump said there would be no choice but to "totally destroy North Korea".

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Last week, North Korea warned Australia that "it will not be able to avoid a disaster" if it continues doing the bidding of the USA by "imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure" on Pyongyang.