-South Korean drills and perhaps the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula in any talks involving a moratorium on its missile launches, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert from Seoul's Dongguk University.
This might have been Kim's plan all along as he sought what to do next after North Korea's weapons development reached a point where it could test intercontinental ballistic missiles meant to reach deep into the USA mainland.
Two U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers and four F-35B stealth fighter jets joined four South Korean F-15 fighters in live-fire exercises at a military field in eastern South Korea that simulated precision strikes against the North's "core facilities", according to the U.S. Pacific Command and South Korea's Defense Ministry.
The U.S. territory of Guam is home to key military bases and strategic long-range bombers that North Korea finds threatening.
It's the North's 13th ballistic missile fired this year alone.
The dueling military displays open up the risk that things will get worse as each side seeks to show it won't be intimidated.
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The language from North Korea on Wednesday is as familiar as it is chilling, a declaration to the world to expect more missile tests.
"There were times when even a short-range ballistic missile launch drew a heated response and sanctions from the global community, but the world didn't do anything about North Korea's short-range ballistic missile launches on Saturday" ahead of Tuesday's longer launch, said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
The 26 lawmakers, led by Kim Kyung-jin of the minor opposition People's Party, claimed that the "humiliating" guideline has seriously infringed on the country's self-reliant defense capabilities amid the grave security tensions triggered by North Korea's provocations.
First off, allied forces will attempt to eliminate the missile at launch.
In Beijing, North Korea's ally China warned that war is not an option in finding a solution to the North's growing nuclear capabilities.
The bombing exercise came as the United States and South Korea wrapped up their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drills that involved tens of thousands of soldiers.
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"We urge [the government] to immediately scrap the guideline and also immediately notify the USA government [of its intention to discard it]", he added.
Fears that this could trigger an aggressive response receded after the United Nations - in a statement drafted by the United States - condemned North Korea's latest missile launch but held back any threat of new sanctions. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the launch was a "curtain-raiser of its resolute countermeasures" against the U.S.
On Wednesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged Washington not to use force against North Korea.
The North apparently wanted to show off its resolve and ability to carry out the threat of striking waters near Guam in "enveloping fire", the ministry said. It also flight-tested a pair of developmental ICBMs in July.
Two B-1B "Lancer" bombers from Guam and four F-35B stealth jet fighters from the Marine Corps' Iwakuni airbase in Japan joined four South Korean jet fighters and two from Japan in the exercise over Japanese and South Korean air space, United States military officials said.
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