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Empty Threats: Why Trump's Vow to Strike North Korea Was a Bluff

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During an interview with the BBC on Monday, North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol stressed that any manner of military action by the U.S. against his country would result in war.

And North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations vowed that any U.S. strike would provoke "the toughest counteraction".

From two continents, Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the US was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Mike Pence struck a stern tone after arriving at a USA naval base from South Korea. "We seek trade that is fair", Pence said.

The Trump administration is hoping that China will help rein in North Korea in exchange for other considerations.

The video was unveiled Sunday during a performance by North Korea's State Merited Chorus for participants of a military parade marking the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung. With its horrendous economy, North Korea has few bargaining chips on the global scene, so it's huge military and nuclear capabilities are the only way it commands respect.

Yoon Kwan-seok, a spokesman for the opposition Democratic or Minjoo Party of Korea, said "50 million South Koreans can not hide their surprise and embarrassment" regarding the remarks.

That provocation never came, leading observers to take a second look.

The Pentagon has told Business Insider that the USA does not train for decapitation attacks of any kind but would not comment on whether SEAL Team 6 was in South Korea.

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That direction was not evident from North Korean leadership, as state-run TV highlighted a propaganda video showing missile strikes leaving the USA in flames.

A shocking North Korean video shows a nuclear bomb appearing to strike an American city, before a huge fiery mushroom cloud soars into the sky.

"American officials did make some positive and constructive remarks. such as using whatever peaceful means possible to resolve the (Korean) Peninsula nuclear issue".

He warned the North, which has conducted missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, that the "era of strategic patience" was over.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency called the carrier's deployment "nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region".

Yet Abe and Pence affirming the foundation for a peaceful solution represents a shift in tone for the US following the nation's recent airstrike on Syria, use of a massive ordnance air blast bomb in Afghanistan and orders to send the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula.

China says it is seriously concerned about North Korean nuclear development, in the wake of a BBC interview with a top official from the North. "It can cause North Korea to revisit prior assumptions and to kind of rethink the situation, but it's unclear yet whether that's going to have a sufficient effect to actually bring this to a good conclusion".

The North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland.

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