US, China agree on North Korea nuclear threat, Tillerson says

The United States should work with South Korea, Japan and China to come up with a plan for what would happen in North Korea after the fall of Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a US senator said Monday.

Several North Korean anniversaries in April could be opportunity for Pyongyang to conduct nuclear or missile tests, South Korean defense ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said.

Trump and China's Xi held a summit meeting in Florida last week, where Trump pressed his counterpart to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear programme.

The significant boost of American military power in Asian waters follows meetings in recent days between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida and military action against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's regime.

"Presidents before and President Trump agreed this is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearization of the peninsula", McMaster said.

North Korea has so far conducted five confirmed nuclear tests and numerous missile test-launches.

The strike group, which includes an aircraft carrier, will make its way from Singapore toward the peninsula, a USA official told Reuters on Saturday.

The Vinson and its escorts, including the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, left Singapore Saturday and headed toward South Korea rather than planned port calls in Australia, according to a statement from US Pacific Command. "He also wants to prove to the world that he's not a president-businessman and he will use USA military force without any hesitation when he thinks it is necessary".

Both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and North Korea seem to agree that last week's US attack on Syria was about ongoing US hostility toward North Korea, though the message that Tillerson believes was conveyed appears to be starkly different from what North Korea learned.

The unidentified official told the Korean Central New Agency the airstrikes were "absolutely unpardonable", and proves Pyongyang is justified in having nuclear weapons.

North Korea denounced Thursday's attack as an act of "intolerable aggression" and one that justified "a million times over" the North's push toward a credible nuclear deterrent.

With a limited but decisive response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of banned sarin nerve gas on Syrian civilians, Trump won plaudits from previously skeptical US allies in Europe, as well as from some of his harshest critics at home.

According to The Times, Xinhua published the editorial immediately after Xi had left the USA following his weekend sit-down with Trump at the President's Mar-a-Lago estate in southern Florida.

North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, have repeatedly indicated an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea's founding president and celebrated annually as "the Day of the Sun". "It would be good if Trump chooses to deepen his relationship with China".

"If North Korea were to test some number of ballistic missiles by firing them into the East Sea/Sea of Japan, these warships would have the potential of intercepting the North Korean test missile", Bennett said.

  • Leroy Wright