War with North Korea 'closer every day'

Risk of war with North Korea grows every day, says Trump's security adviser

H.R. McMaster made the remark on "Fox News Sunday" after North Korea launched what appeared to be its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile last week.

"We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it", Haley said during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council this week.

"What is clear is every time - every time - he conducts a missile launch, a nuclear test, he gets better", McMaster said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated over the weekend as United States stealth fighters moved into the region and official sources from both North Korea and the U.S. said the chances of war are growing. It is unclear whether it has succeeded in making nuclear warheads small enough to be put atop a missile.

"Long Live the General Kim Jong-un who has brought us the great historic cause of nuclear statehood", another banner read.

A senior USA official told Fox News on Saturday that the North Korean ballistic missile fired last week did not survive the re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere, but broke up on re-entry.

Technical analysis of the missile flight was ongoing, but the US official said "the North Koreans had problems with re-entry", CNN reported.

The North says the Hwasong-15 missile can be tipped with a "super-large heavy warhead" capable of striking the whole U.S. mainland.

War with North Korea 'closer every day'
War with North Korea 'closer every day'

The Trump administration has repeatedly said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea's ballistic and nuclear weapons programs, including military ones, but that it still prefers a diplomatic option.

"We're asking China not to do us or anybody else a favor", he said. "But what we want to do is convince others it is in their interest to do more".

"China, as you know, has taken some unprecedented actions", McMaster said, apparently referring to Beijing's backing of recent U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

The five-day Vigilant Ace drill - involving some 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters - begins Monday, five days after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of hitting the USA mainland in a new challenge to president Donald Trump.

The 5-day drill, dubbed Vigilant Ace, will involve more than 230 warplanes from both sides, including 6 U.S. F-22 Raptors, and 6 F-35s - some of the air forces' most advanced fighter jets. About 12,000 USA military personnel and 230 planes are expected to participate in the drill, known as Vigilant Ace.

The two countries will stage simulated precision airstrikes on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets, including transporter erector launchers similar to the ones Pyongyang employs to keep its missiles mobile, the South Korean Air Force said.

This deployment, as well as the three U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers deployed last month near the North Korean waters, falls under the agreement in October between Seoul and Washington to increase rotational deployment of strategic assets of the United States in the Korean peninsula.

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