WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the exchange of threats between the U.S. and North Korea (all times local):
A Democratic congressman is urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to reconvene the House from its summer recess to consider legislation prohibiting a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea.
Rep. David Cicilline (sihs-ihl-EE’-nee) of Rhode Island, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says that in light of President Donald Trump’s “reckless words” threatening North Korea, the House should immediately take up legislation barring a pre-emptive nuclear strike without prior congressional authorization.
Cicilline said Trump “has made a dangerous situation even worse by recklessly asserting that the United States is ‘locked and loaded’ to bring ‘fire and fury’ to North Korea.”
Cicilline said Trump’s bellicose language against North Korea has raised alarms around the world, adding that “if the president will not defuse this situation, then Congress must.”
Japan has started deploying land-based Patriot interceptors after North Korea threatened to send ballistic missiles flying over western Japan and landing near Guam.
The Defense Ministry said Friday the PAC-3 surface-to-air interceptors are being deployed at four locations: Hiroshima, Kochi, Shimane and Ehime.
The deployment is largely aimed at responding to the risk of falling fragments while missiles fly over the region.
The four PAC-3 systems are brought from eastern Japan, as its missile defense is largely centered around Tokyo. They are expected to arrive in the designated sites early Saturday.
The ministry did not confirm whether Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has already issued an order to shoot down incoming missiles.
Russia’s foreign minister says the risk of a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea is “very high.”
Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Russia is strongly worried about escalating rhetoric coming from Pyongyang and Washington. He added that “when it comes close to fight, the one who is stronger and wiser should be the first to step back from the brink.”
Asked how Moscow would act in case of a military conflict between the U.S. and the North, Lavrov answered it would do everything it could to prevent the worst-case scenario.
Lavrov said Russia doesn’t accept the North’s nuclear weapons bid and pointed at a proposal by China and Russia under which Pyongyang would freeze its nuclear and missile tests while the U.S. and South Korea would halt their military drills.
Despite tensions and talk of war, life on the streets of the North Korean capital Pyongyang remains calm.
There are no air raid drills or cars in camouflage netting as was the case during previous crises. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn’t convey any sense of international concern about the situation.
North Koreans have lived for decades with the state media message that war is imminent, the U.S. is to blame and their country is ready to defend itself.
At a park in central Pyongyang Friday evening, young people practiced volleyball and grandparents and parents watched children on climbing frames and swings.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she doesn’t see a military solution to rising tensions between the United States and North Korea and called for a de-escalation of the rhetoric.
Asked Friday about U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest statements, Merkel declined to say whether Germany would stand with the U.S. in case of a military conflict with North Korea. She said, “I don’t see a military solution and I don’t think it’s called for.”
Merkel called on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the issue. She says Germany would work to find diplomatic solutions with the countries involved, the U.S. and China in particular, but also South Korea.
She added: “I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer.”
Earlier this week, Trump said the U.S. would slam the North with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it provoked America again.
President Donald Trump is warning of military action “should North Korea act unwisely.”
Trump tweeted: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.
Trump said this week the U.S. would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S.
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