Japan extends its own sanctions against North Korea

The airstrikes, announced shortly after Trump and Xi wrapped up dinner Thursday night, were retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.

"The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilising programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability".

Thae also argued that the only "real solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is to eliminate Kim Jong-un from the post".

But Kim's nuclear program still requires much work before he develops a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike the United States. "It is an explosively unsafe situation".

Following the two-day meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Xi agreed that North Korea's nuclear moves are at a "very serious stage" and relayed the leader said that China would increase its cooperation efforts to rein in the nation.

The statement may have lacked specifics, but was significant in that it committed the United States - at least temporarily - to continue cooperating with the global community in looking to blunt North Korea's drive to become a viable nuclear power.

Interestingly, the upgraded version of Pukguksong-1, which was sacked last August by North Korea via a submarine, employs pre-loaded solid fuel.

TRT World's Joseph Kim reports.

Kim's country has been increasing its nuclear presence, causing a growing rift with the U.S.

. Having gotten through the talks without making any major, specific commitments, the Chinese president would seem to have won some ground - or at least some wiggle room - in the Trump talks.

In a photo released on February 13, 2017, by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), this allegedly shows a test-fire of Pukguksong-2.

The February launch, using solid fuel, verified that a new version of the missile "can be tipped with a nuclear warhead and the feature of evading interception", North Korea's official media said at that time, while pointing out that it was a follow-up of the success achieved in August past year when a submarine-launched ballistic missile reached as high as 550 km and flew about 500 km.

"The successive USA administrations have perpetrated strikes at those countries which do not have nukes only, styling themselves a superpower and the same is true of the Trump administration", the Korean Central News Agency said in a post on its English-language site.

Japan, together with the United States and South Korea, tightened sanctions in December 2016, following North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Melanie Hart of the Center for American Progress similarly urged the Trump administration not to cave to Beijing's wishes to turn down pressure on North Korea.

Was the strike in Syria also a message to China?

  • Leroy Wright