Trump: Kim will 'truly regret' any attack on Guam

The US has sent fighter planes to Guam as tensions escalate

Trump: Kim will 'truly regret' any attack on Guam

Picture by: Evan Vucci/AP/Press Association Images

Updated: 21.40

US President Donald Trump has said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will "truly regret" any action he takes against Guam.

He told reporters: "I hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean.

"Those words are very easy to understand."

Mr Trump was speaking at his Bedminster golf resort in New Jersey, where he is on holiday.

Mr Trump dismissed critics as attacking his words only "because it's me", adding that his rhetoric would be welcomed as "a great statement" if "somebody else" had said it.

He said that millions of Americans supported him because "finally we have a president that's sticking up for our nation and frankly sticking up for our friends and our allies".

Earlier, it was revealed the US sent fighter planes to Guam as tensions continue to escalate.

The US Pacific Command says the B-1B Lancer bombers are ready to "Fight Tonight" if called upon.

The planes joined counterparts from the Republic of Korea and Japan on August 7th.

It comes after Mr Trump warned North Korea that if it "acts unwisely" the military is "locked and loaded".

Mr Trump tweeted that "military solutions are now fully in place", adding: "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!".

The warning came hours after China appealed to the US and North Korea "to be cautious with their words and actions" amid heightened nuclear tensions.

On Thursday, Mr Trump met with national security advisers to discuss Pyongyang's threat to fire missiles towards the US territory of Guam.

In an address after the meeting, the president suggested his warning to hit North Korea with "fire and fury" may not have been tough enough.

In a subsequent attempt to ease tensions, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told reporters that the US still prefers a diplomatic approach to easing tensions as a war would be "catastrophic".

However, when asked whether America was prepared to respond if North Korea commits a hostile act, he replied: "We are ready."

Later, Pyongyang accused Washington of a "criminal attempt to impose nuclear disaster upon the Korean nation" and described the US as a "heinous nuclear war fanatic".

Mr Trump's "locked and loaded" threat was met with a mixed reaction among world leaders.

World reaction

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the president's escalation of rhetoric was "the wrong answer", adding: "I do not see a military solution and I don't think it's called for".

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the threats from Washington and Pyongyang were "going over the top".

He added that "the side that is stronger and cleverer" should take the first step to defuse the crisis.

The latest war of words between the US and North Korea started after the latter test-fired two missiles in July.

Despite the tensions, American and South Korean officials say they still plan to stage joint military drills from August 21st.

Washington and Seoul say the annual exercises, which involve tens of thousands of troops, are defensive in nature and crucial to maintaining a deterrent against North Korean aggression.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann/IRN