B1-B bombers return to Guam after Korea sortie

Trump warns North Korea of 'fire and fury' as nuke threat worsens

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States", said Trump, who was speaking from his golf club in New Jersey.

He said the global community was united in seeking to impose the maximum economic pressure on North Korea "to bring them to their senses without conflict".

Hours later, North Korea responded to the latest remarks by Trump by saying it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the US territory of Guam.

On Tuesday, Trump retweeted a story that said US spy agencies have detected North Korea "loading two anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat on the country's east coast just days ago".

North Korea has threatened preemptive military strikes against the United States, as President Donald Trump vowed to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if its aggression continued.

China calls on all parties to avoid any words or actions that might escalate the situation and make even greater efforts to resolve the issue via talks, the ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters. In the case of North Korea, the closest bombers are in Guam.

For North Korea, having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America would be the ultimate guarantee against invasion by its superpower adversary and is an ambition decades in the making.

Condemning the United Nations sanctions, the North warned: "We will make the USA pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country".

While it's extremely unlikely that North Korea's leadership would risk its own destruction with a pre-emptive attack on Guam, an American territory about 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) from the Korean Peninsula, analysts believe the North does have several missiles in its arsenal capable of reaching the Pacific island, which Pyongyang has regularly threatened because of its US military bases.


Earlier, Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The US military has a huge footprint across south-east Asia and the Pacific, particularly in Japan and South Korea.

The dollar pared gains slightly after Trump's North Korea comments, still supported by the job market data which underscored the view that the Federal Reserve has ammunition to continue on its tighter monetary policy path. The U.S. now puts the North Korean arsenal at up to 60 nuclear weapons, more than double most assessments by independent experts, according to the Post's reporting.

The US Air Force commands ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are ready to go at any time, and nuclear-capable bombers.

On Tuesday, Japan conducted joint air drills with two US B-1B Lancers - capable of carrying nuclear bombs - near the Korean peninsula.

"I take exception to the President's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do".

Analysts said the weapons could reach Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory. But he added that the moves were "nothing I would panic too quickly about just yet", noting that they may have been exaggerated by the relatively light trading volumes that are typical in August.

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