Estimates of North Korea's nuclear weapons hard to nail down

Estimates of North Korea's nuclear weapons hard to nail down

Each nation gains security in concert with other nations, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today at a meeting that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted with their Japanese counterparts at the State Department.

Before his meeting with the Prime Minister, Dunford held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, during which they again stressed the importance of defence cooperation between the USA and Japan in the face of growing regional tension created by North Korea.

The new posters mark the latest in North Korea's recent succession of missile attack threats on the U.S.

"If you just leave the situation to be dealt with by the United States, and a war started just like that, we in Japan would be quite scared", he said.

North Korea has repeatedly threatened to target Japan, home to numerous USA military installations.

They also agreed to continue to apply pressure on North Korea, together with other countries, to compel it to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and called on the worldwide community to strictly enforce all UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning Pyongyang.

Tillerson reiterated that the United States wanted dialogue with Pyongyang, but only if it were meaningful.

- The U.S. military has an aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

While the United States prefers a diplomatic approach, the country and its allies are prepared to respond to a North Korean threat with military force, Mr Tillerson said at a news conference.

Tensions have risen after North Korea conducted two missile tests in July which, like its five atomic bomb tests, were carried out in defiance of global pressure and United Nations resolutions.

North Korea said it is holding fire on Guam but is watching the action of the USA before deciding to hit the American territory with missiles.

Last week, Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury". "Very often it's from submarines and we see North Korea also working with those".

Observing that Japan and South Korea are on the front line against the North Korean threat, Mattis said the USA recognises that any confrontation with North Korea would pose an immediate danger to its allies and their populations.

Public anxiety is rising in Japan and South Korea, U.S. allies who lie most directly in the North's line of fire, and China, North Korea's economic backer and former close ally, has expressed growing alarm. The worldwide community is speaking with one voice.

The U.S. has over 28,000 service members stationed in South Korea.

The United States reaffirmed that the military option remained on the table.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and citizens role through the streets of the capital Pyongyang to take part in the North's military parades.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be receptive to negotiations.

Fan Changlong, a vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told the visiting US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford this week in Beijing that China believed the only effective way to resolve the North Korean issue was through talks.

Recently, the North Korean military advanced to solid-fueled missiles, which give little warning beforehand, he said.

While the plans are highly classified, experts and officials say they carry considerable risks and the potential for heavy losses of life.