'North Korea will truly regret any threat to US'


A statement was also issued by the White House about the phone call that said the two leaders agreed that "North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior."Jinping's advice to Trump over maintaining restraint comes after the US president threatened North Korea in a tweet Friday where he said the USA military was "locked and loaded".

US President Donald Trump ramped up his war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after a week of tensions that has roiled global markets. North Korean state media reports suggest Kim Jong Un could potentially sign off on the plan at about that same time.

What the regime has said it is doing is preparing a plan (which it now claims will be ready within days) to launch a series of Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japanese territory and into the sea 30-40 kilometers off the coast of Guam (just outside its territorial waters but well within its exclusive economic zone) in an "enveloping fire". That might well cause panic among the US public - a psychological warfare win for North Korea.

Soon after the United Nations resolution, North Korea accused the US of "trying to drive the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war", according to reports.

Officials have not raised the USA territory's threat level after Pyongyang said it had laid out plans to strike near the island in the coming weeks. At the same time, Beijing will respond if the US and South Korea strike first and try to overthrow the North Korean regime.

Trump has dialled up the rhetoric on North Korea, saying his threat of "fire and fury" may not have been tough enough, warning Pyongyang of a retaliatory "event" the likes of which it would have never been thought possible.

Tourists frolic along the Tumon beach on the island of Guam, a US Pacific Territory.

Trump began his Friday barrage with an especially fiery tweet: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

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"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States".

Mattis stressed, however, that diplomatic efforts were gaining traction. "I want to stay right there, right now", he added. The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the USA and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

"Guam's leaders say the threat level hasn't gone up following North Korea's latest threat".

About 75 percent of Americans polled by the Chicago Council said North Korea is one of the top threats facing the United States, a noticeable spike from 60 percent previous year.

Concern is mounting in the Pacific region and around the world about the increasingly heated rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced in a statement Thursday that nine persons and four entities, including North Korea's state-owned Foreign Trade Bank, have been added to its sanctions list of frozen assets and travel restrictions in response to the regime's ongoing nuclear and missile development. However, the same poll found Americans were still reticent to get involved in an armed conflict with North Korea and more likely to support increased sanctions instead.

As North Korea's only real ally, China has more influence than any other nation over the hermit nation.

"I take projections of casualties of thousands to tens of thousands quite seriously, and that's just in South Korea", he said.