Korean leaders, USA signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis

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The American president continued his belligerent rhetoric against the North on Friday, tweeting, "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

Kim Jong Un better think long and hard about that before he makes another boastful claim about his military superiority.

Chinaese President Xi Jinping made a plea for cooler heads in a phone conversation with Trump on Saturday.

"This isn't anything new", the official added.

Japanese soldiers during an exercise on the US Naval Base Guam US Air Force B-1B bombers take part in drills as tensions rise between the US and North Korea Why is Guam under threat from North Korea and is it within range of its missiles?

The standoff between the two nuclear nations has unsettled regional allies, some of which are scrambling to work out how to respond to the sudden escalation.

The island was captured by the U.S. from Spain in 1898 during the Spanish-American war.

He said neither the USA nor South Korea believe that North Korea has completely gained reentry technology, and there were questions over whether it has succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear warhead.

Guam officials were "ecstatic" Tuesday as North Korea appeared to back away from its threat to fire four missiles towards the USA territory in the western Pacific.

The department will send alerts to local media and village mayors and publish information on its website and social media sites if there is an imminent threat.

"I'm working with Homeland Security, the rear admiral and the United States to ensure our safety, and I want to reassure the people of Guam that now there is no threat to our island or the Marianas".

The report comes on Korea's Liberation Day, which marks the anniversary of the surrender of the Japanese Empire to the Allied powers in 1945.

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On Thursday, Trump replied to North Korea's threat to hit Guam with a threat of his own.

"President Trump is not your conventional elected leader, what he says and how he says it is a lot different from what was said by previous presidents", Calvo said. "And he'll see", he said.

Tensions have been mounting in the region since North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, which appeared to bring much of the USA within range.

The North Korean leader also blamed the US for "driving the situation on the Korean peninsula into the touch-and-go situation" and "running helter-skelter".

Over the weekend, Japan redeployed batteries of its land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors to some of the prefectures over which the North Korean missiles would potentially fly: Shimane, Hiroshima and Koch. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan - apparently showing the missiles' flight route.

President Moon Jae-in told visiting top U.S. military official Gen Joseph Dunford that the South's top priority "and our national interest" was peace. He said, "I feel that they will be very safe".

The U.S. military would be able to determine if a North Korean missile is headed toward Guam "within moments", he said, because of spy satellites, radars and other high-tech sensors that track missile launches.

Pyongyang has accused Mr Trump of "driving" the Korean peninsula to the "brink of a nuclear war".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to wait a little longer before striking the United States territory of Guam and watch "the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees", urging Washington to refrain from further escalation of the Korean crisis.

"They are willing to take losses like no army in the world", said one Western analyst who has travelled extensively through North Korea, and spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of those travels.

"That becomes an issue that we take up, and it's however the president chooses", Mattis said.