Meanwhile, North Korea said on Saturday that almost 3.5 million workers, party members and soldiers volunteered to join or rejoin its army to resist new U.N. sanctions and to fight against the United States in the current geopolitical tension between Pyongyang and Washington.
"But, make no mistake about it, the continuation, the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat", the head of the Central Intelligence Agency said, commenting that he is "quite confident" North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un will continue to advance his weapons programs.
North Korea said on Thursday that plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, 2,175 miles away.
"We're all looking to get out of this situation without a war", Dunford said.
President Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that U.S.
"The United States military is always locked and loaded", he said. China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel its wayward ally to end its nuclear and missile programs.
He also clarified the president's warnings, noting that the USA does not want war with North Korea but will take action to defend itself if attacked.
As the US and North Korea traded jabs, many observers began to fear that the two countries might find themselves in a war that Secretary of Defense James Mattis previously said would be "catastrophic" and "tragic on an unbelievable scale". It also said that the two "reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".
The tough talk capped a week in which long-standing tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over. "But we're taking all possible actions short of military action to resolve this very grave threat to the United States and the world", the lieutenant general said, citing diplomatic efforts, increased sanctions and increased pressure.
The North then came out with a threat to lob four intermediate-range "Hwasong-12" missiles near Guam, a tiny US territory some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from the North's capital, Pyongyang.
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