The Pentagon is quoted as declining to comment or flatly disputing as “wildly wrong” the NBC report Thursday that the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively should the Pentagon become convinced that a nuclear detonation is imminent. The network cited intelligence sources. Other media reported from Seoul and Washington that the US would not launch a military strike without first consulting with the South Korean government.

China has warned against using military force to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, and officials in Pyongyang said that North Korea would not stand idly by if the Americans attacked its nuclear program.

Rumors of an impending US preventative attack on North Korea gained ground after the US Tomahawk strike on April 7 against a Syrian air base and the dropping of a MOAB on ISIS in Afghanistan on April 13. The US has also positioned two destroyers loaded with Tomahawk missile opposite North Korean shores and heavy bombers at Guam.
In Pyongyang Friday, sirens sounded for a snap civil defense drill, while in Seoul, the South Korean capital, some big corporations have begun evacuating their offices.

Vice President Mike Pence travels to Seoul Sunday.