World News

North Korean Nuclear Showdown

North Korean Nuclear Showdown

Trump has taken a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has proceeded with nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of North Korea to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the U.S. with a nuclear missile.

The UN Security Council has adopted the amended version of the condemnation of North Korea's latest missile test, which includes a Russia-backed call for a dialogue with Pyongyang.

Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks as a series of North Korean missile tests have wrought ever-more bellicose warnings from the new U.S. administration.

"But she was on her way up to Korea", said US Defense Secretary, James Mattis.

US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened North Korea with an "overwhelming" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

North Korea put on a musical show to mark the birthday of founding father Kim Il Sung, which ended with a mock-up video of missiles engulfing the United States in flames, prompting cheers from the audience and smiles from current leader Kim Jong Un.

Mr Bennett said the North Koreans have a sense that they and the United States "are not really playing chess" because Mr Trump appears to only be thinking about the next move by considering a surgical strike as a real option.

'But at the same time, ' the prime minister said, 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue'.

'So we'll see what happens, ' Trump said.

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", Pence said after arriving from Seoul for talks with Abe.

The current statement was drafted by the USA - which is presiding over the council for the month of April - and takes a stronger position than previous council statements.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap has reported that the US Air Force has dispatched a nuclear sniffer aircraft to the east of the Korean Peninsula to detect and identify another nuclear test by North Korea, its sixth.

They came hours after state media in Pyongyang warned that a pre-emptive strike by North Korea would result in the US and South Korea being "completely destroyed in an instant".

North Korea stepped up its rhetoric on Thursday, threatening the United States and its allies with a "super mighty pre-emptive strike" and telling them: "don't mess with us". North Korea does not have many friends in the world, but China is one.

"If the US makes a preemptive strike against the North..."

"It was not an intercontinental ballistic missile, it failed on launch, and it shows why we're working so closely right now with the Chinese".

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