North Korea's top diplomat says Donald Trump lit fuse of war

Kim Jong Un has promoted his pop-star ex-girlfriend Hyon Song-wol to a position in North Korea's powerful inner circle

U.S. B-1B bombers flew this week over South Korea with fighter jet escorts from the allied nation.

"The [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name for North Korea] almost achieved the final point on the way to our ultimate goal, to achieving a real balance of force with the United States".

This comes after the president threatened to destroy North Korea before shouting down Rex Tillerson's diplomatic attempts a "waste of time".

The article ended with a familiar warning: that the U.S. would be exclusively responsible for "pushing the situation on the peninsula to the point of explosion".

Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week's drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion.

Does the ominous rhetoric from President Donald Trump and repeated flights by US strategic bombers over the Korean Peninsula mean Washington is readying for what many feel is unthinkable - a military conflict with a nuclear-armed North Korea that would put millions of civilians at risk?

Anyone anxious that the United States-North Korea impasse is heading to a nuclear showdown should relax.

On North Korea, Kelly said Americans "should be concerned about a state that has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle". He added: "We're going to see what happens".

North Korea first said it was examining a plan to target the Pacific island in August after President Donald Trump warned the isolated regime would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen" following a United States intelligence assessment that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

Experts speculate that Pyongyang could launch in the next few days a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) coinciding with the Chinese Communist Party Congress, which starts on October 18th, or in the face of Trump's visit to the region.

It remains unclear whether North Korea will lash out with a weapons test during the exercise, as it often has in the past. "Let's hope that diplomacy works", the chief of staff said.

By all indications, another North Korean provocation is inevitable - perhaps imminent.

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