Published: Tue, April 25, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

N.Korea quiet amid expectation of tests

N.Korea quiet amid expectation of tests

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its military.

The Trump administration has warned that all options, including a military strike, are on the table to halt North Korea's ambitions of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States mainland.

In the latest call - the third between the two leaders - Mr Xi said China opposed any such test by North Korea, but he also nudged Mr Trump to show restraint, according to a report on Chinese television.

The phone conversation between Mr Trump and Mr Xi yesterday morning came after the American leader had already used a meeting with Mr Xi in Florida, a follow-up phone call, interviews and Twitter messages to press China to do more to deter North Korea from holding additional nuclear and missile tests.

U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to focus on rising tensions with North Korea as he hosted members of the UN Security Council at the White House on April 24.

A "national meeting" of thousands of senior military and civilian officials was held the day before, although North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not attend.

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and ships in the strike group accompanying it are continuing to move toward the South Korea region, after completing a short naval exercise with Japanese ships in the Philippine Sea.

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Washington and allied governments believe that North Korea's weapons development is getting closer to mastering the means to hit the continental U.S. with a ballistic missile.

Haley said the North Korean regime wants a bilateral conversation with the USA, but "we're not going to do it".

Trump has intimated he is willing to ramp up USA military pressure on North Korea while simultaneously encouraging China to use its influence on its ally, while rejecting bilateral diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Despite its longstanding ties with the North, China has stepped up pressure, announcing in February that it was halting all imports of coal from North Korea, a crucial earner for Pyongyang, for the rest of the year.

At a regular press briefing on Monday, China's foreign ministry spokesperson said that Pyongyang should refrain from action that could ratchet up tension on the Korean peninsula.

The submarine's arrival comes as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heads toward the Korean Peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea around the weekend.

"North Korea's unlawful weapons programmes represent a clear, grave threat to U.S. national security".

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South Korean and US officials have feared for some time that North Korea's sixth nuclear test could be imminent.

North Korea has threatened the USA with "all-out war" and announced that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles on a weekly basis. That widening rift is presenting China with hard choices between its longstanding ties to North Korea and its hopes for steady relations with the US.

Last year, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests, which would have improved its knowledge in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles. "North Korea is a big world problem and it's a problem that we have to finally solve", he added.

Haley said the USA wasn't looking for a fight and wouldn't attack North Korea "unless he gives us reason to do something".

Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile and has said all options are on the table, including a military strike.

Pressed by Guthrie as to what that reason would be, Haley said, "If you see him attack a military base, if you see him if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we're going to do that".

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