Korea threatens Guam attack in latest propaganda film

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend the security council meeting on nonproliferation of North Korea next to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at United Nations on April 2

North Korea has claimed the U.S.

The US defense secretary, James Mattis, said on Sunday the reduced troop numbers were "by design to achieve the exercise objectives", denying suggestions Washington had sent fewer soldiers to ease tensions with Pyongyang.

The comments from Admiral Harry Harris, the head of US Pacific Command (PACOM), came a day after the USS John McCain collided with a merchant ship, leaving 10 sailors missing and another five injured. -South Korea joint military drills are "secret operations" to oust Kim Jong-un as leader.

Guam, which is the closest USA territory to North Korea, was ensnared in last week's heated back-and-forth between Pyongyang and the United States after being specifically threatened by North Korean state media.

The John McCain is equipped with the Aegis missile defense system, which is created to shoot down ballistic missiles from adversaries like North Korea.

The video was released before the US and South Korean armies embarked on their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises - a 10-day show of force including land, air and sea drills with thousands of troops.

The penalties are meant to complement new U.N. Security Council sanctions and further isolate North Korea for its nuclear and missile tests amid heightened tensions that have led to threats from both sides, the Treasury Department said in a statement.


"The U.S. will be wholly held accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by such reckless aggressive war maneuvers, as it chose a military confrontation with the DPRK", a spokesman for the Panmunjeom mission of the Korean People's Army said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

But its proposal for North Korea to suspend its arms programs in return for the United States to halt military drills in the region has so far been ignored.

The United States and South Korea have a long history of cooperation in the sphere of defense that goes back to the Korean War in the 1950s. Even though the joint Korea-U.S. drill is held annually, it has become a subject of contention.

On the eve of the drills, North Korea said the USA was "pouring gasoline on fire". "Such huddle is increasing the gravity of the situation".

Ju also said that the bolstering of North Korea's nuclear program "is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defense in the face of such apparent and real threats".

Moon also stressed the importance of China's role in bringing the North back to the dialogue table, noting Pyongyang almost entirely depended on its major ally, Beijing, for its exports. An official from US Forces Korea said that the number of participating American troops can marginally change depending on how training events are designed and that the lower number this year doesn't represent an effort to downsize the drills.

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