Asked to explain 'calm before the storm' remark, Trump talks North Korea

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The latest warnings from Pyongyang follow weeks of rising tensions, which promise to escalate further when the US and South Korea joint naval exercises begin Monday.

Ri Yong Ho, Pyongyang's foreign minister, hit out at the US President and said the tensions will not be settled with words.

Over the last two years, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and launched missiles in response to joint drills, which have led to unprecedented UN Security Council Sanctions, including a new round adopted unanimously last month.

The area around North Korea's nuclear test base may be destabilized after recent tremors and landslides, Reuters reported, and experts say it may not be used for tests much longer.

Trump's remarks appeared to have spooked North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un after his army was spotted shifting 30 Scud missiles from Hwangju, south of Pyongyang to Nampo - in the west of the country.

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Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week's drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion. But Trump has added to tensions in recent weeks by employing similarly tough talk, threatening to "totally destroy" or rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea.

It remains unclear whether North Korea will lash out with a weapons test during the exercise, as it often has in the past.

North Korea has made similar threats against the United States for decades.

He told reporters that if the threat grows "beyond where it is today, well, let's hope that diplomacy works" - just the latest in a series of cryptic messages from the Trump administration.

"Before. the ink was dry on the contract, they were already starting again with the missiles, and with the nuclear, frankly", Trump said. He added: "We're going to see what happens".

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