IGP: We're looking for VIP over death of Jong-nam

Photo released by KCNA on March 19 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un monitoring the test of a newly developed high-thrust engine at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground.

The two officials' comments underscored how the contours of the debate over North Korea haven't changed even though Tillerson's State Department says 20 years of diplomacy to curtail Pyongyang have failed.

While that's largely in line with prior US positions, Tillerson's recent comments - and Twitter posts from President Donald Trump - suggest the level of anxiety over North Korea is rising.

Kim Jong Un told a North Korean-controlled news agency, which first reported the rocket tests, that the "whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries".

The chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) declared that his country is close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In his comments in Seoul, Tillerson laid out details of the US approach, saying it would focus on getting China to better enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea. KCNA reports that the North Korean leader sees the success of the current test as a great event of historic significance while a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry was unveiled.

And it is believed by experts and government officials to be working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that could reach the United States.

"All options are on the table", Tillerson said. "I don't think so!" the president tweeted.

The Singaporean daily cited a report by the United Nations Security Council that said a similarly named and aged man had travelled to countries, including Malaysia, since 2012 as an operative of the Korea Mining Development Trading Corp, North Korea's main arms trader.

  • Zachary Reyes