China Warns of War as North Korea Vows Merciless' Response to US

However, a senior Trump administration official described as "flat wrong" an NBC News report citing senior US intelligence officials as saying the United States is prepared to launch a pre-emptive conventional weapons strike should officials be convinced North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test.

He placed a wreath at the National Cemetery in Seoul in a symbolic gesture to commemorate the 1950-53 Korean War; then he worshipped with U.S. military personnel at the Yongsan U.S. Army garrison.

Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching USA forces to the region.

Han said Trump's tweets have also added fuel to the flames.

One could say that the immediate reason that tensions are so high is the reappearance of the USS Carl Vinson, an American aircraft carrier, and the provocative messages about "a preemptive strike on North Korea" and "military options" by the administration of US President Donald Trump. North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Missiles are paraded across Kim Il Sung Square.

Pyongyang has undertaken five nuclear tests since 2006.

"Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires the nation and inspires the world", he said after being introduced by Gen. Vincent Brooks, the top US commander in South Korea. That is why we will never agree with hardliners who are willing to go to war and who see war as inevitable.

South Korea has a patchy record of tracking developments in North Korea, as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.

The U.S. seeks nothing more than a "stable and economically prosperous Korean peninsula", not military conflict, the official said.

Han said USA sanctions efforts are misguided and cited the opening ceremony of a sprawling new high-rise residential area in Pyongyang on Thursday as evidence that sanctions have failed to ruin the country's economy. The North views the strike as telegraphing what the Trump administration's plans are for its regime. The South Korean government believed Kim Won-hong had been sent to a "political re-education" prison camp for sending false reports to Kim Jong-un. "If the USA government pre-emptively strikes our country, we are ready to counter strongly".

Tensions in the region have surged to fresh heights in recent days with speculation mounting that the North is preparing a sixth nuclear test.

Moreover, the North has taken the recent deployment of a USA naval strike group to the region as grounds for its continued testing of nuclear and missile weapons technologies.

Also on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said all sides must stop provoking and threatening and start taking a flexible approach to resuming dialogue. That attack alarmed the North and was condemned as "unpardonable" by Pyongyang, which counts Syria as an ally.

  • Leroy Wright