Part of THAAD elements deployed in South Korea

Part of THAAD elements deployed in South Korea

The latest move comes as tension soars on the Korean peninsula following a series of missile launches by the North and warnings from the administration of US President Donald Trump that military action was an "option on the table".

The US has in recent days deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, amid fears North Korea could be planning further missile or nuclear tests.

Yonhap News reported that Kim attended North Korea's largest-ever live-fire artillery exercise east of Pyongyang, prompting South Korea's defence ministry to monitor developments in the area. Many security experts forecasted a possible sixth nuclear test or ballistic missile test.

The Pentagon said the deployment was a critical measure to defend South Korea and its allies against North Korean missile threats and it would complete it "as soon as feasible". A rapid tempo of North Korean weapons testing in the past year has pushed Kim Jong Un's authoritarian nation closer to developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the USA mainland.

Confusion had clouded the carrier's whereabouts earlier this month after USA officials indicated it was sailing towards North Korea when in fact it was heading south. Guided-missile submarines would likely play a role as well.

The meeting, in addition with an increased USA military presence in the Asia Pacific, is just part of an all-hands-on-deck approach to how the Trump administration will tackle North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The United States and South Korea agreed to deploy THAAD in response to the threat of missile launches by North Korea.

Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group for exercises off the Korean peninsula as a warning to North Korea and a show of solidarity with USA allies.

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If the Michigan's port of call at Busan is officially considered to be routine, the diversion of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group for exercises off the Korean peninsula is anything but.

However, North Korea has, in fact, been offered multiple security assurances across several U.S. administrations: take the 2005 joint statement reached during six-party talks, or the "Leap Day Deal" signed during president Barack Obama's term.

South Korea accuses China of discriminating against some South Korean companies operating in China because of the THAAD deployment.

US Senator Lindsey Graham said he and fellow Republican John McCain had dinner with Trump on Monday and discussed North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats are expected to conduct the briefing. Graham, a defense hawk who dined with Trump on Monday night, said the North should not underestimate the president's resolve.

Hecker, a United States scientist who has visited North Korea seven times since 2004, told me last week during a phone press conference that the regime never shared anything with its public about building a bomb before 2003.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China urged the US and South Korea to withdraw the system. The nuclear-powered submarine is built to carry and launch ballistic missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

"If we start something or North Korea starts something, we are in an all-out war on the Korean peninsula", says Bruce Klingner, a former USA intelligence official who is now an analyst with the Heritage Foundation, in a recent interview with CQ Roll Call.