North Korea next in Trump's crosshairs

Council members said they "deplore" all North Korean ballistic missile activity, stressing that it contributes to the country's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and diverts resources from the needs of its people.

An expert who has authored a book on North Korea said Saturday not to be surprised if North Korean leader Kim John Un went into hiding following the USA missile strike against Syria, stating in an email to Fox News that American military power was more than likely something he had "dismissed before". Could Trump's hints about his North Korea policy show that he plans to enlist Beijing in ousting the country's leader, Kim Jong Un?

The North has conducted five nuclear tests, including two previous year, and test-fired almost 30 ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning it from using the technology.

The news comes five years after the US agreed to increase the permissible range of South Korean missiles from 300 km to 800 km. Amano warned that North Korea has reached a new phase of progress and that there's no room for optimism that the Kim regime can be convinced to change course.

"Over the past four weeks, there have been unusually high levels of activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site", said 38 North Thursday, based on recent analysis by North Korea experts Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Jack Liu.

While China has clearly lost patience with Pyongyang's nuclear provocations, it is extremely wary of any response that might bring about North Korea's collapse and chaos on its doorstep.

"There is no doubt in our minds, and the information we have supports that Syria, the Syrian regime under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, are responsible for this attack".

A defiant North Korea has fired yet another missile.

"But the trade-off would be some kind of commitment on the part of the U.S.to come back into the negotiation process" or scale back military exercises in the South China Sea.

"I would imagine Xi and the Chinese would make a strong argument for why it's necessary to try to re-engage and perhaps probably would be prepared to say they are ready to do even more to pressure North Korea", Stephens said.

"It signals to Pyongyang that the United States has a new sheriff in town who isn't hesitant about pulling his gun from the holster", Kim said.

The White House hopes the Chinese will do more to influence Pyongyang through diplomacy and enhanced sanctions.

Trump and other administration officials have said all options are on the table, including military action. En route to Florida Trump said the USA has not been treated fairly on trade for many years.

Other potential measures could include infiltrating the nation with US and South Korea forces to destroy key structures like bridges to prevent the transportation of mobile missiles.

But now the attention is on the next move by another world leader: Kim Jong-Un.

  • Leroy Wright