On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Washington would take out any such missile seen to be heading for American soil, warning that such a North Korean attack could mean war. Analysts said that a wide swath of the continental United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, could be within reach of those missiles, once they're perfected.
The mainly computer-simulated drills and other joint exercises always infuriate Pyongyang, which considers them rehearsals for an invasion despite US insistence that they're defensive in nature.
Soon after coming to office he delayed the deployment of the US-developed THAAD anti-missile system.
South Korea's top economic and monetary authorities vowed to take "decisive actions" to stabilize the financial markets if they turn too volatile from geopolitical risks.
"As tensions run high between the U.S. and North Korea, Moon has a good reason to tone them down amid fear of a war", Kim said.
On Tuesday, Yonhap News, South Korea's largest news agency, quoted Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning as saying the initial intercept ability achieved in May is now being built upon.
Earlier Thursday, Moon sought to ease concerns in South Korea over a potential war, saying Trump had agreed to first seek approval.
President Moon Jae-in has called four more batteries of launchers to be installed for the missile shield. During a meeting with his advisors and senior secretaries on August 14, Moon urged North Korea to "immediately halt its provocations and threatening words and behavior" and to "stop making the situation worse".
In Beijing, Dunford will be hosted by his Chinese counterpart, General Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department. This is a firm agreement between South Korea and the US.
Although the USA and South Korean militaries would respond quickly, the initial volleys could cause significant damage and panic.
Asked to respond to the criticism that China's "dual suspension" proposal to halt the USA military drills with South Korea and the North's missile tests made a false equivalence between the two, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said it was the most realistic and achievable solution.
The protesters also chanted slogans such as "No THAAD deployment" and "Stop joint military training exercises" as they marched from the square towards the nearby USA embassy. But he added that the military's job was to provide "viable military options in the event that deterrence fails".
Last week, Mr. Mattis said the Pentagon had developed military options should North Korea attempt to launch attacks against US territories in the Pacific.
Any new military conflict with North Korea would likely escalate quickly to the use of nuclear weapons, bringing catastrophic casualties and an untold economic impact worldwide, former US defence officials and experts believe. Washington will take every possible opportunity to destroy the North Korean regime, not only because it poses a military threat, rather because it represents a symbolic threat and a challenge to the U.S. hegemony worldwide.
"We believe that if China enforces those sanctions-if the worldwide community enforces those sanctions-that can set the conditions to move forward toward denuclearization", he said. "Whether or not he's thinking about other countries - Japan or Korea - well, that's a mystery".