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Apr 7, 2013

U.S. delays missile test to avoid stoking North Korea tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has decided to delay a long-planned missile test scheduled for next week out of California “to avoid any misperception or miscalculation,” given tensions with North Korea, a senior U.S. defense official said on Saturday.

The unusual precaution by the United States follows a barrage of hostile rhetoric from North Korea – including the threat of open war – that has created jitters in South Korea’s financial markets.

Apr 6, 2013

Obama seeks to hike veterans’ funding despite budget pressure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will request a 4 percent increase in discretionary spending next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a move officials said on Friday demonstrated his commitment to veterans and their families despite intense fiscal pressure.

Obama will also seek to make permanent two tax cuts for businesses that hire veterans, an effort meant partly to help drive down unemployment among former service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their jobless rate has been higher than the national average.

Apr 5, 2013

A quieter second-act for U.S.-South Korea military drills?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration, which has made military moves intended to signal to North Korea and U.S. allies that it takes Pyongyang’s threats seriously, plans to switch gears and tone down public pronouncements about joint military exercises with Seoul, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The U.S. messaging, which has included flying two B-2 stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula and the announcement of new or expanded missile defense systems in Alaska and Guam, was intended to reassure South Korea and Japan it would back them in a crisis, the officials said.

Apr 4, 2013

North Korea lacks means for nuclear strike on U.S., experts say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s explicit threats this week to strike the United States with nuclear weapons are rhetorical bluster, as the isolated nation does not yet have the means to make good on them, Western officials and security experts say.

Pyongyang has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over North Korea threat

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it would soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

At the same time, North Korea repeated its threat to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. Pyongyang said it had ratified a potential strike because of U.S. military deployments around the Korean peninsula that it claimed were a prelude to a possible nuclear attack on the North.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over ‘clear’ N. Korea danger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

North Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, since new U.N. sanctions were imposed over the country’s third nuclear weapons test in February.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over “clear” North Korea danger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

North Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, since new U.N. sanctions were imposed over the country’s third nuclear weapons test in February.

Apr 3, 2013

Hagel tells military to brace for further belt-tightening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the U.S. military on Wednesday to brace for a new round of belt-tightening as he carries out a sweeping review that could slash the number of generals, pare back civilian workers and stem spiraling costs of new weapons.

But Hagel, in his first major policy speech, also warned that the United States could not allow its current fiscal and budgetary crisis to force it to retreat from its role in the world.

Mar 29, 2013

N.Korea readies missiles after U.S. stealth bombers fly over South

SEOUL/WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – North Korea put its
missile units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases
in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two
nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a
rare show of force.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a
midnight meeting of top generals and “judged the time has come
to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the
prevailing situation”, the official KCNA news agency said.

Mar 29, 2013

North Korea readies rockets after U.S. show of force

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea put its rocket units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a midnight meeting of top generals and “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation”, official KCNA news agency said.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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