Adm. Harris said it was "preposterous" that China would take economic steps to try to stop South Korea from receiving a defensive system, which the United States insists does not pose a threat to Beijing. An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the USA administration's policy to maximize pressure on North Korea was "little short of lighting the fuse of total war", the state news agency reported Tuesday.
The joint statement described North Korea as "an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority".
While the ship was headed towards the Philippine Sea, North Korea's state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Pyongyang is ready to illustrate its "military force" by sinking a "nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike".
The day started with Adm. Harry Harris, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, testifying in front of the House Armed Services Committee.
All members of the U.N. Security Council traveled to Washington, D.C., on Monday for a similar briefing from President Donald Trump, who told them the status quo in North Korea is unacceptable.
It comes as all 100 U.S. senators are given an extraordinary briefing by the top officials of the Trump administration on the threat posed by the rogue nation.
The United States may need to strengthen its missile defenses, particularly in Hawaii, given the advancing threat from North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs, the top USA commander in the Pacific told Congress on Wednesday.
Moreover, if Kim were to die suddenly, North Korea's elites would probably not choose a successor from Kim's family, ending their dominance since the state's founding more than half a century ago, Bennett said, based on his interviews with defectors.
Several hundred South Korean villagers protested near the site, hurling water bottles at vehicles moving the parts in.
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It also said the administration would be asking the worldwide community to help achieve that and persuade the rogue leader Kim Jong Un's government to "de-escalate and return to a path of dialogue".
The US and South Korea are deploying the missile system in response to the ongoing development of North Korea's ballistic missile program.
The message? The United States prefers diplomacy for addressing the growing threats posed by North Korea. But the admiral said he lacks all the attack submarines he needs and has no capable defense against the thousands of artillery pieces North Korea could launch at South Korea. Trump's top national security advisers said they were "open to negotiations" with the North, though they gave no indication of when or under what circumstances. It said it would win in a "death-defying struggle against the US imperialists".
"THAAD allows us intercept capability to shoot down, at the high altitude level, ballistic missiles that go from North Korea to South Korea", Harris explained.
Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry called USA attempts to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons through military threats and sanctions "a wild dream" and like "sweeping the sea with a broom".
Moon Jae-in, a frontrunner in the forthcoming South Korean presidential election, has condemned the "inapproriate" deployment of the THAAD system.
He voiced confidence that the United States could defeat any North Korea missile attack on an American aircraft carrier strike group, saying threats from North Korea overstated Pyongyang's capabilities.
A draft of Asean's end-of-summit chairman statement obtained this week by AFP had a portion on the Korean Peninsula still blank, meaning the leaders had yet to agree on what to say on the issue.
His comments come after North Korea conducted its biggest ever live-fire artillery exercise to mark the 85th anniversary of its military's creation on Tuesday.