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

US President

GETTYDuring his 13-day tour of Asia Donald Trump will focus on North Korea and trade

"No one can predict when the lunatic old man of the White House, lost to senses, will start a nuclear war against [North Korea]", the regime's state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a statement Monday.

North Korea itself welcomed Trump to the region with a rhetorical volley via the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, warning a "spiritual instable" president against making "reckless remarks". "We know they have missiles capable of firing 4,000 to 6,000 miles, probably with a payload of half a ton, so half a ton of VX in those missiles could kill tens of thousands of people, and they could do that now, so that is a genuine concern".

During election campaigning, Trump said South Korea and Japan must make more contributions for together hosting 80,000 USA troops or he might withdraw those soldiers.

Trump instead declared that Abe "will shoot 'em out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States".

"We remain postured to respond in the event of a provocation or conflict, and we have taken all appropriate measures to protect our allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, and U.S. Forces in those countries", the letter reads. Some 28,000 American troops are stationed in the country.

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South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is interviewed by NBC News' Lester Holt.

It came as the USA leader struck a hard line against North Korea's nuclear weapons program today on a state visit to Japan. 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.

According to the Washington Post, Pentagon officials have warned that the only way to locate and secure North Korea's nuclear weapons sites would be via a ground invasion. 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. While they would offer protection against North Korea's conventional weapons, they are not created to withstand a nuclear or chemical attack.

South Korea's recent agreement with China to try to end disputes over an advanced USA missile defense system deployed in South Korea could be an issue. Park also noted the backdrop of the grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's nuclear test and subsequent missile launches.

At the very least, millions of people would die in this sort of war. On Sept. 3, Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear test.

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In Japan earlier Monday, Trump called Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions and weapons tests a "threat to the civilized world and global peace and stability".

"The era of strategic patience is over".

The world will be watching what kind of language Trump will use in his comments on North Korea.

The U.S. president said he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles, the sources said. It also wants nothing short of full normalization of relations with the US and to be treated with respect and as an equal in the global arena.

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