China's top diplomat issued stern warning to North Korea, Seoul says

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a press conference marking his first 100 days in office
Trump promised to seek Seoul's approval before acting against North Korea: South Korea president Moon
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23 August, 2017

The ongoing UFG simulation exercise is the first South Korea-U.S. war game since two mobile launchers and other THAAD elements were transported in April to a former golf course in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province. It's time for maximum pressure.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, USFK commander, said all options would be made possible through military exercises, stressing that it would be important to prepare as many options as possible through military drills.

The video released seems to be in reference to this week's joint US-South Korea drills in the region.

We examine this year's drills and how the North might respond to them.

The United States on Tuesday slapped sanctions on 16 Chinese and Russian individuals and companies, accusing them of supporting North Korea's nuclear program and attempting to evade U.S. sanctions.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the joint drills, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, were purely defensive and did not aim to increase tension on the peninsula.

The United States and South Korea also hold larger war games in the spring, called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, which involve live-fire exercises and training with tanks, aircraft and warships.

Shortly after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test, which it claimed was of a "standardised" warhead that could fit on a variety of its rockets.

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Marcus Stroman pitched 6 1/3 innings, Steve Pearce homered and scored twice and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. The Dodgers salvaged his night by scoring three in the ninth for their major league-leading 10th walk-off victory of the season.


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North Korea's latest propaganda video threatens to fire missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam.

The US Navy ordered a one-day operational pause - which will be spread out over a couple weeks and conducted at the discretion of individual commands - in response to the McCain collision, but Harris stressed that the string of incidents will not affect the US military's ability to defend itself from incoming threats.

The North Korean statement accused the United States of deploying unspecified "lethal" weapons for the drills that it says involve a "beheading operation" training aimed at removing absolute ruler Kim Jong-un. The question is how strong it will be.

China is North Korea's neighbor and main trading partner and USA foreign policy experts say Chinese companies have long had a key role in financing Pyongyang.

If this is right, expect the usual propaganda belligerence in state media or low-level provocations like artillery and short-range missile drills.

But a visiting group of senior US military commanders, including Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of USA forces in the Pacific, said the drills are critical for the allies to maintain readiness against an aggressive North Korea.

As a result of Tuesday's action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of US persons or within the United States must be blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.


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