Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged calm and said Americans should have "no concerns" after North Korea and President Donald Trump traded fiery threats, insisting Wednesday he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat".
U.S. President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that North Korea will be met with "fire and fury" if it continues to threaten his country, according to news reports. "As I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before".
He said North Korea's escalating threats showed it was feeling the pressure from a successful USA strategy.
He is responding to Trump's warning that North Korea could face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States after a new report said USA intelligence officials believe Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. The story was attributed to anonymous United States officials. The U.S. also calculated last month that North Korea has up to 60 nuclear weapons, the Post said, more than double most assessments by independent experts.
The Post story, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, said the confidential analysis was completed last month by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
That would mean North Korea has passed a crucial threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.
-May 2010: After a Seoul-led worldwide investigation blames a North Korean torpedo for the sinking of a South Korea warship that killed 46 sailors, Pyongyang issues a denial and warns of a "prompt physical strike".
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Pyongyang "will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table", and would "teach the USA a severe lesson" if it used military force against North Korea.
The latest tit-for-tat between Washington and Pyongyang come on the same day as a report in The Washington Post that says USA intelligence officials have concluded that North Korea has perfected a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of being fitted atop its ballistic missiles.
Guam is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. located about 3,400 km southeast of North Korea.
Nikki Haley, the United States' ambassador to the U.N., said the sanctions package represents "the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled" against North Korea.
Aides to the last USA president, Barack Obama, echoed that concern.
The Marianas islands are located north of Guam.
But reports that North Korea has taken another big step forward in realizing its nuclear ambitions will likely only escalate an already tense situation after the latest chapter of rhetorical chest-thumping.
Another statement was later issued by the spokesman for the General Staff of the KPA where he warned against the US war hysteria and claimed it would bring a "miserable end of the American Empire".
Why does North Korea hate the U.S.?
Trump sharply intensified his rhetoric against North Korea on Tuesday, threatening "fire and fury" over its weapons programmes. Both missiles were fired at highly lofted angles and landed in the sea near Japan, but analysts said the weapons could reach Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States", said Trump, who was speaking from his golf club in New Jersey. The US military has a huge footprint across south-east Asia and the Pacific, particularly in Japan and South Korea.
A travel agent on Guam said they haven't had a surge of customers seeking to book flights off the island. North Korea says it has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the US with a nuclear missile.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the groups had long-been involved in the importation of illicit substances. Police have refused to confirm reports Ibrahim brothers Michael and Fadi were among those nabbed in Dubai.
It's unclear whether North Korea has successfully tested the new design, though a year ago Kim Jong Un's regime declared it had. Ambassador Nikki Haley said, "I can't talk about anything that's classified and if that's in a newspaper, that's a shame".
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