North Korean missile could hit Australia within 2 years, US diplomat warns

U.S. President Donald Trump recently ordered his National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to prepare for "a full range of options", leading to renewed concerns of a possible pre-emptive strike or military action by Washington.

Reacting on the same day, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that Pyongyang was "looking for trouble".

The North called the airstrikes "absolutely unpardonable" and said they prove its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington's "evermore reckless moves for a war".

In a pair of tweets aimed at goading China into taking action against the dictatorship, Mr Trump said "North Korea is looking for trouble" and vowed to "solve the problem" with or without Chinese help.

Last week's United States strike against a Syrian military base has also been seen as a warning to North Korea, after Donald Trump said Washington was prepared to act alone if China failed to exert more pressure on its neighbour to halt its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Trump has not commented publicly in recent days on next steps in Syria, though aides have said he is prepared to strike them again if Syrian President Bashar Assad's government again uses chemical weapons.

The North's bellicose remarks came after the U.S. Pacific Command on Saturday diverted the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group from a planned visit to Australia to move closer to the Korean Peninsula.

The statement comes just after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack carry a message for any nation operating outside of worldwide norms.

The North's foreign ministry, in a statement carried by KCNA, said the USA navy strike group's approach showed America's "reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase".

"We will take the toughest counter-action against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms", the North Korea foreign ministry spokesman said.

If Kim and his top aides were killed in a USA attempt to decapitate North Korea before it could order a ballistic attack, that might cause the whole government to collapse.

Meanwhile, China is said to be amassing troops as the North Korean border.

North Korea will be marking the birthday of late leader Kim Jong Il, father of current leader Kim Jong Un; above. "It doesn't plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang", it said. North Korea's formal name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs likewise emphasized that the United States will not act unilaterally without consulting Seoul on matters involving Pyongyang.

The reason why North Korea started making grave declarations such as this is because the United States sent out USS Carl Vinson alongside an escort of guided missile cruiser and other two destroyers.

But "under President Trump, we are afraid that that may not necessarily be so any more", said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the Sejong Institute, a think tank in South Korea. A small but increasingly vocal minority in South Korea is openly talking of an independent nuclear deterrent.

"China has great influence over North Korea".

"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.

On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was expected to attend the country's Supreme People's Assembly, a high-profile gathering of the nation's leading political figures.

  • Leroy Wright