Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests have shaken the security order not just on the Korean Peninsula, but worldwide, the president said in a meeting here Monday with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford warned that military options are being prepared in case diplomatic efforts fail.
"I've heard folks talking about that we're on the cusp of a nuclear war", Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.
That has heightened fears that this year's UFG exercise may spark a new crisis after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left open a threat to fire missiles into waters near Guam, saying he would hold off for now while monitoring USA behavior.
"It's very concerning that both Trump and (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un are more unpredictable than the countries' previous leaders", the newspaper said in an editorial.
South Korean Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk agreed North Korea was likely to continue provocations, including nuclear tests, but did not see a big risk of the North engaging in actual military conflict.
Earlier this month, the United Nations adopted tough new sanctions against the North after it launched its second intercontinental ballistic missile test (ICBM) in July.
However, he also said North Korea is nearing a red line of arming intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.
Christine Hong, Associate Professor specializing in critical Pacific Rim studies at UC Santa Cruz, said that because there was never a signed peace treaty at the end of the Korean War in 1953, the US/South Korea military exercises are an act of war in the eyes of the DPRK.
North Korea "appears to have achieved significant improvements in its weapons technology in the past few months", S&P said. -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more hard. A spokesman for the centrist People's Party criticized Moon's comments in Thursday's news conference, arguing that "Korea passing" - the feared sidelining of Seoul on the North Korea issue - is becoming a reality under his watch.
Dunford's visit came a day ahead of North Korea's annual "Liberation Day" from Japanese occupation.
The US leader was "trying to pressure North Korea by showing a firm resolution", he said.
"There's no military solution, forget it", Bannon told The American Prospect.
If North Korea lashes out, the strategy of deterrence that underpins the US-South Korea alliance will have been fatally undermined.
"Doesn't the Moon Jae-in government have to say something about Trump's over-the-line comments?"
On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was time to "dial down rhetoric and daily up diplomacy" on North Korea, offering to help broker talks with the parties involved in the dispute.