'North Korea looking for trouble' - Trump warns

President Donald Trump, fresh from ordering a missile strike on Syria that was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea, has asked his advisors for a range of options to rein in Pyongyang, a top U.S. official said Sunday.

"Because North Korea places most of its assets underground, it will be hard for the Vinson group to do a lot of damage to North Korea on its own", Bennett said.

However, just this week, North Korea launched a Scud extended-range missile, which USA officials say was largely unsuccessful.

The country's chief nuclear envoy Kim Hong-kyun said there was no mention of any military option in his talks with China's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, Wu Dawei.

Moreover, Trump has always argued that China is responsible for the continued nuclear proliferation in North Korea.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday likewise talked about a call for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, saying North Korea has been engaged in a pattern of "provocative behavior".

President Trump is responding to another tough foreign policy crisis with gunboat diplomacy, but the second deployment is likely to look very different from the first.

South and North Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty.

Gong: I think the U.S. doesn't now have an option that ensures it could annihilate North Korea in a single blow and prevent the North from mounting a counterattack.

The war of words comes as reports firm that China is amassing soldiers on the North Korean border in anticipation of a potential pre-emptive strike from the US. "If not, we will solve the problem without them!" he added in a second note. Ultimately the only remaining option is "double pressure" - in which the United States puts pressure on North Korea not only directly but also through China.

A senior Japanese military source added: "If the US military was to attack, there could be a request to Japan for rear-guard logistics support but there has been no talk of such preparations".

North Korea is believed to be developing missiles capable of hitting the United States and a nuclear arsenal in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

SEOUL-The dispatch of a USA strike force has fueled tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with all eyes on how North Korea responds to the apparent shift in US policy.

"We will make the USA fully accountable for the catastrophic consequences that may be brought about by its high-handed and outrageous acts", the statement said.

"(Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken", Tillerson said on CBS's Face the Nation.

According to South Korean government officials and other sources, North Korea has deployed mobile launching pads for ballistic missiles on its two coasts.

  • Leroy Wright