Trump reaches out to Seoul for support on North Korea, Syria

The US has also explained to China, America's position on the deployment of the USA -supplied High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea, arguing that it is aimed at countering North Korea's missile threat, which Washington views as serious.

A North Korean foreign ministry official said the missile strikes proved its own nuclear weapons program is justified, according to the Associated Press, which reports from North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

"This coordinated initiative could force North Korea to make real demilitarization concessions, while providing a win for both China and the United States", Markey wrote, adding that China has unsuccessfully urged the USA to engage North Korea directly for years.

"We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the USA evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force", the official said, according to the report.

On Friday, Tillerson said Xi offered Trump his understanding of the rationale behind the attack against Syria, particularly the need to halt the indiscriminate killing of children.

Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World, said the airstrike told insane Kim he "must now heed American military power".

North Korea has long claimed that the United States is preparing to conduct similar precision strikes against its territory or even launch an all-out invasion.

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

Diplomatically isolated North Korea considers Syria a key ally.

In the latest provocation, the North fired a ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the East Sea.

As this statement comes, it is worth noting that UPI reported Kim Jong-un congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before the USA strike Thursday for "great successes in the creation of an independent and prosperous country and ensuring regional peace and security".

The North has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them past year - and expert satellite imagery analysis suggests it could well be preparing for a sixth.

But the official Chinese account of the talks in its state news agency Xinhua did not mention North Korea.

Amid growing concerns about Pyongyang's advancing weapons programme, the Pentagon on Sunday ordered an aircraft-carrier led navy strike group to head towards the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea, regards Syria as an ally, was not surprised that this U.S. military attack was a "warning to us" and that it was another example that "we have to defend ourselves against imperialist aggressions".

  • Leroy Wright