US VP Pence warns North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'
Senior North Korean officials see their relations with Washington as even more volatile than before. China is appealing for calm, and possibly re-examining its role.
Trump has been pressuring China, North Korea's benefactor, to help defuse the situation but has also warned that the United States will settle the issue alone if other countries won't help.
When it comes to North Korea and this weekend's holiday theatrics - military parades featuring Pyongyang's latest missiles and technological terrors, along with a failed missile test - there is only one thing that is clear: Tensions on the Korean peninsula are only going to get worse.
China has recently shown "tangible indications" that it is cooperating with the United States to turn up the pressure on Pyongyang, a senior State Department official said Monday.
The Trump administration has said military action remains an option for dealing with North Korea.
If such persuasion falls short, Trump has suggested he might use more coercive methods. It has said it has developed a missile that can strike the mainland United States, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering the necessary technology, including miniaturising a nuclear warhead.
"Trump is posing a hard choice to Beijing - do something, something about North Korea and hope it generates some effects, or face American economic retaliation", said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He has accused former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama of being "outplayed" by Kim Jong-un and previously by his father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
"I think at the end of the day, we realize North Korea is a problem, and no one on the council wants to see North Korea move forward with any sort of testing or strikes", Haley said.
"So, it is most likely that [the US] won't launch a strike against North Korea", the Russian political scientist reiterated, "This adventure would have ended very badly for the U.S.".
At a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday, Fox News reporter John Roberts asked President Donald Trump about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's mental health. "We have reached the final stage of preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile", Kim said, adding that, "Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing". North Korea routinely labels such exercises preparations for invasion.
While Trump didn't address Kim's mental state, he did promise a military buildup.
BEIJING (AP) - China defended its trade practices on Tuesday after Chinese-made vehicles were seen towing ballistic missiles during a North Korea military parade despite global sanctions against selling military hardware to Pyongyang. South Korea hosts 28,500 US troops to counter the threat from the North. "That's just how the authoritarian Kim government survives".
"Trump seems capable of doing anything, and he might choose to strike the North before it's technologically able to strike back", said Ray Kim, a 39-year-old Seoul resident.
Susan Thornton, acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions and for global action to press Pyongyang "to cease provocative actions and recommit to peaceful denuclearisation".
At least 100 people were killed in the blast which hit a convoy of buses trying to escape the war-torn area yesterday. The buses had been held up by a disagreement between the two sides about how many rebel gunmen could be evacuated.
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The next 27 holes should shake out the field and it's likely a name not even under consideration will be found near the top. It's been pretty slow out there. "We've put a lot of work in", Fowler said, "and it's nice to see it pay off".
Beijing has retaliated against South Korean businesses, while its military has threatened to take unspecified action in response. China may be getting fed up with continued nuclear bluster from long-time ally North Korea and tilting toward the United States.
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