Pyongyang calls US-South Korean war games a step to nuclear war

Pyongyang has said it was considering plans to fire missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, although North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have delayed the decision.

Dunford said the US military and its allies needed to stay ready.

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has urged the United States and South Korea to scrap the exercises.

North Korea has long criticised the annual military exercises the USA conducts with South Korea, regarding them as a rehearsal for an invasion of the North.

Banks of monitors and computer graphics create simulated battlefields, complete with troop movements, according to Park Yong-han, a military expert formerly with the state-run Korea Institute for Defence Analysis.

"And I said why are they so important?"

"In the case of North Korea, we can't see everything in real time but the military deduces the locations of North Korean troops, including the leadership during the exercise". H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, met Japan's defense and foreign ministers in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the importance of deterring North Korea's provocations and Tokyo's ballistic missile defenses, according to the Japanese government.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have grown in recent weeks.

"We will follow to the ends of the earth those who dare try to harm our core".

During last year's drills, North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine and put its military on the highest alert.

But the threats triggered a stern warning from Washington.

The report was issued on the eve of Ulchi Freedom Guardian - two weeks of military exercises involving tens of thousands of South Korean and USA troops and a smaller number from other countries, including Britain and Australia. He told reporters fewer troops were needed because of integrating some roles and emphasizing command post operations.

It has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the USA that it sees as escalating tensions.

"The Australian government had better devote time and energy to maintaining peace of its own country, instead of forgetting the lessons learned in the past and joining the USA in the moves for nuclear war".

The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise began on Monday and involves more than 17,000 American troops along with small contingents from Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

"It's to prepare if something big were to occur and we needed to protect ROK", a USA military spokeswoman, Michelle Thomas, said, referring to South Korea by the initials of its official name, the Republic of Korea.

His comments about averting war echoed similar statements he made Tuesday that only South Korea could give consent to initiate any conflict with the North.

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 global pressure and United Nations resolutions. Russian Federation has also asked for the drills to stop but the United States has not backed down. This year, 17,500 members of the US military and almost 50,000 servicemembers from the South Korean military are taking part.



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