Trump kicked off his third day of aggressive posturing toward the hermit kingdom on Friday, tweeting that USA military solutions were "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely" and encouraging despotic leader Kim Jong-un to "find another path".
At the time North Korea said it was launching a telecommunications satellite, but Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believed Pyongyang was testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. It had been known the two sides had discussions to secure the June release of an American university student. North Korea sees its nuclear arsenal as protection against the United States and its partners in Asia.
The surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC 3) has been deployed in the prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima, Kochi and Ehime, the expected flight path of the North Korean projectiles, reports Efe news. State-run media ensure that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but don't convey any sense of worldwide concern about the situation. Guam, more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea, is home to about 163,000 people and a us military base that includes a submarine squadron, an air base and a Coast Guard group. US military options range from nothing to a full-on conventional assault by air, sea and ground forces.
"What I would say here ladies and gentleman, my portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options should they be needed", he said.
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The van driver in the Barcelona incident is still at large and is thought to have been the sole attacker. A similar attack was carried in another Spanish city, but that time - the suspects were shot dead.
But restraint was not the word of the day on Friday as Trump sent out a cascade of unscripted statements, including what appeared to be another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim. The plan would be sent to Kim for approval just before or as the U.S.
As the rhetoric has ratcheted up, South Koreans are buying more ready-to-eat meals for emergency use, and the government aims to expand nationwide civil defence drills planned for Aug 23.
Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air. Along with a bigger set of maneuvers held every spring, the exercises are routinely met by strong condemnation and threats of countermeasures from North Korea. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
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