Spain expels North Korea ambassador

To shoot down or not? North Korea launch highlights intercept issues

Trump opened his Twitter salvo with a jab at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who Trump dubbed "Rocket Man". Trump said on Friday he was "more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming".

While worldwide pressure mounts Kim Jong-Un has pledged to continue the North's programs, saying his country is nearing its goal of "equilibrium" in military force with the United States.

Military options available to Trump range from non-lethal actions like a naval blockade aimed at enforcing sanctions to waging cyber attacks and positioning new US weaponry in South Korea, where the United States has 28,500 troops. The White House said Trump and Moon discussed North Korea's continued defiance of the worldwide community and "committed to continuing to take steps to strengthen deterrence and defense capabilities and to maximize economic and diplomatic pressure".

Trump's United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, said North Korea was starting to "feel the pinch". She added: "If the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves". The US military could not immediately confirm the latest flights.

President Trump has even said, Goldstein notes, that "he would sit down and have a burger with Kim".

Some doubt that Kim would ever agree to surrender his arsenal.

The United States often sends such high-tech, powerful aircraft in a show of force in times of heightened animosities with North Korea. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President  Donald Trump talks with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at  the UN Headquarters in New York
President Donald Trump talks with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the UN Headquarters in New York

The joint military drills come three days after the North fired another intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan.

If diplomacy fails to coerce North Korea to the negotiating table, he said, "our military option will be the only one left".

The Security Council last week unanimously passed a US-drafted resolution mandating tougher new sanctions against Pyongyang that included banning textile imports and capping crude and gasoline supply.

Defense Minister Song said the ministry would line up the country's strategic arms and introduce them on Army Day which falls on October 1, in a bid to quell rising concerns among the public amid the heightened tension with the North.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was waiting for the North to express interest in "constructive, productive talks".

The U.S. military has described the exercises as training for readiness "to fight tonight" against North Korea if needed. He identifies the North Korean threat as unprecedented, serious and immediate.

Asked whether there were any military options the United States could take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk, Mattis said: "Yes there are".




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