North Korea renews Guam threat before joint naval exercise

N.Korea's Key 'Rocket Men' Absent from Major Events

N.Korea's Key 'Rocket Men' Absent from Major Events

Separately, a small quake was detected early yesterday near the North's nuclear test site, South Korea's weather agency said, but unlike quakes associated with nuclear tests, it did not seem to be man-made.

On Friday, a researcher at the Institute for American Studies at the North Korean Foreign Ministry warned that the joint exercise, as well as a flight by two U.S. B-1B bombers over South Korea on Tuesday, compelled the North to "take military counteraction".

It is unlikely to have any effect on next week's planned major joint-navy drill between Sourth Korea and the U.S.

As long as the USA maintains its pressure on North Korea, it will not negotiate over its nuclear weapons arsenal, the Hermit Kingdom's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho told Russia's TASS News Agency.

CCN reports that the latest warnings from Pyongyang follow weeks of rising tensions, which promise to escalate further when US and South Korea joint naval exercises begin Monday. "Let's hope that diplomacy works".

The U.S. military said in a separate statement it conducted drills with Japanese fighters after the exercise with South Korea, making it the first time U.S. bombers have conducted training with fighters from both Japan and South Korea at night. The 10-day exercise will "promote communications, interoperability, and partnership in the 7th Fleet area of operations", reads a statement from the Navy's 7th Fleet.

After US B-1B jets buzzed North Korea and practiced a bombing run, Pyongyang responded by saying Kim Jong Un may finally decide to launch missiles towards Guam.

The move will likely rile Pyongyang which had previous warned against any upcoming joint exercises.

On Friday the nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine arrived at South Korea's southern port of Busan, according to Yonhap news agency, just days after another nuclear-powered submarine - the USS Tuscon - left after a five day visit.

In recent months, President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, have amplified their countries' military standoff by exchanging bellicose statements and personal insults.

On Tuesday Trump discussed "a range of options" with his national security team to respond to North Korea's recent missile and nuclear tests. Ri emphasized deterrent power of nuclear weapons in his country's hands.

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