Elsewhere in the country, the Defense Ministry has deployed PAC-3 interceptors in the western prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima, Ehime and Kochi, in response to North Korea's announcement last month of a plan to fire ballistic missiles to areas around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
Humanitarian aid should be delivered to North Korea regardless of the current political situation and tougher sanctions against Pyongyang, Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Unification, said on Monday. Mattis acknowledged discussing that with his South Korean counterpart but declined to say whether that option was under consideration.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the UN Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear programme and the United States might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.
"We do not desire the collapse of North Korea".
State media on Saturday quoted Kim as saying that North Korea's final goal "is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the USA and make the US rulers dare not talk about military option" for the North.
The U.S. warplanes also conducted formation training with Japanese fighter jets over waters near the southern island of Kyushu, according to the Pacific Command.
Yesterday we reported dictator Kim Jong-un taunted Donald Trump boasting "America's fate is in hands of North Korea" by vowing to turn United States into a "sea of flames". It was the country's longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile.
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Much of the regime's domestic legitimacy rests on portraying the country as under constant threat from the United States and its regional allies, South Korea and Japan.
President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook wave before departing for the United States, at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on September 18, 2017.
While not nuclear-capable, the B-1B - six of which are now positioned in Guam, 3,360 km from North Korea - is regarded as the workhorse of the U.S. Air Force and has been modernized and updated in recent years.
South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo told lawmakers on Monday that it is "not proper" to reintroduce USA nuclear weapons.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Monday's edition of the Bild daily that the world should wait for sanctions to bite, but "visions and courageous steps" also are needed.
During the 25-minute call, Trump and Moon condemned the latest missile launch by North Korea, pledging to work with the global community to implement the latest UN Security Council resolution.
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