North Korea backs down on threats to attack Guam

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However, they said the United States and its allies could no longer afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. But Washington is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation, Dunford said.

Earlier Monday, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the USA military's most senior officer, warned on a visit to South Korea that the United States is ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities to defend itself and its allies against North Korea.

And he "conveyed America's readiness to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies and the U.S. homeland".

"Both the United States and South Korea do not believe North Korea has yet completely gained re-entry technology in material engineering terms", Suh said in remarks televised on Sunday for a Korea Broadcasting System show. "Whatever ups and downs we face, the North Korean nuclear situation must be resolved peacefully", South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a regular meeting with senior aides and advisers.

"Should preferred diplomatic and economic peaceful options fail, Gen. Dunford reiterated America's resolve to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies in the Republic of (South) Korea and Japan, as well as the USA homeland", James said. "Yes, that's called war, if they shoot at us".

Mattis was vague about what would happen if missiles were launched toward Guam but splashed into the sea.

Mattis told Pentagon reporters Monday that any such actions could, "escalate into war very quickly".

The report came after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that if North Korea fired on US territory it would be "game on".

However, he clarified that a declaration of war remains with President Donald Trump and Congress.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford boards a helicopter at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, to travel to U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea.

"In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the unsafe military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the United States to make a proper option first and show it through action", Kim was quoted as saying.

In February 2016, when North Korea declared its plans to launch a ballistic missile that it claimed to be a satellite, the Japanese government adopted the same measures and since then remained on high alert.

Responding to the tests, US President Trump warned Pyongyang of "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so".

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