Korea ready to 'warmly welcome' Trump, lay groundwork for stronger alliance

Donald Trump North Korea

Other issues at stake are South Korea's hope to regain the wartime operational control of its troops, now placed at the hands of the chief of the 28,000 US troops in the South, and Seoul's possible purchase of high-tech USA weapons systems. While Trump will be looking to use his trip to strengthen Washington's alliance with Seoul and reaffirm their joint push to maximize pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program, he will also be faced with several thorny issues weighing on the relationship.

A U.S. ground invasion of North Korea could cost "millions" of lives, a new military report has predicted amid growing tensions between the United States and the hermit nation.

The U.S. president said he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles, the sources said.

The US had put North Korea on the terror sponsor list in 1988 after the reclusive regime was accused of blowing up a South Korean civilian airliner in 1987, leading to the deaths of 115 people.

But Kang warned that "we need to be very careful about military options", adding that they "are there to give strength to diplomacy".

The amount of casualties would differ depending on the advance warning and the ability of United States and South Korea forces to counter these attacks, he said. "The idea that another war could wipe that out is just unimaginable". The U.S. has no energy to prevent it. Some 28,000 American troops are stationed in the country. In the decades since the Koreas were partitioned, the North has become an impoverished, militarized pariah, while the South has embraced technology, capitalism and deep ties with the Western world.

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North Korea is prepared to use its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if war breaks out with the USA and its allies, according to a letter Pentagon chiefs sent to lawmakers. With North Korea's defeat - but at what cost?,' Givens said. Former North Korean diplomat Thae Yong Ho warned US lawmakers that they would "press the button without further instructions" and suggested that military action against Kim would nearly certainly result in a catastrophic number of civilian casualties.

The letter was a response to a request to Defense Secretary James Mattis from Lieu and Gallego, in which they requested estimated Pentagon casualty figures from a war with North Korea. "They're high-ranking employees who have been linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile development program as well as the North's foreign exchange procurement efforts".

The last time the two men met, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, North Korea launched a missile over Japan.

However, Kang highlighted a month-and-a-half lull in "provocations", suggesting that the "message is getting through" to North Korea.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during a news conference at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on November 6, 2017. "The regime continues development of its unlawful weapons programs including its illegal nuclear tests and outrageous launches of ballistic missiles directly over Japanese territory are a threat to the civilized world and global peace and stability".

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