North Korea oil imports, airline among possible USA sanctions targets

North Korea marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of the state founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday and in 2012 launched a long-range rocket carrying a satellite to mark the date.

US President Donald Trump has approved a preliminary broad approach on North Korea and asked his national security team to craft a more detailed framework for new global sanctions and other actions to counter Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, one official said.

A phone call between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday was meant to reinforce USA pressure on Beijing to curb Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, a United States official said.

Trump said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, that "he is doing the wrong thing".

Trump has diverted the Carl Vinson Strike Group to near the Korean peninsula, from a planned port call in Australia, in a show of force aimed at deterring North Korea launching another missile.

North Korea vowed a tough response to any military moves that might follow the US decision to send the carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

In Washington, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump has been very clear that it's "not tolerable" for North Korea to have nuclear-armed missiles. Pyongyang is able to deal a heavy blow to South Korea.

Journalists said that they had been woken before dawn and told to prepare for the trip, but were not given details of their destination.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and benefactor, has called for a peaceful resolution after a sharp rise in rhetoric between the United States and Pyongyang.

"We'll see whether or not he does", Trump said.

The North regularly threatens to destroy both countries. If China decides to help, that would be great.

Meanwhile, North Korea reacted defiantly to increasing U.S. belligerence and the arrival of a U.S. Navy strike group in waters near the Korean Peninsula.

Trump pressed Xi to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear programme when the two leaders held their first face-to-face meeting in Florida last week.

After the talks, administration officials said Xi did not offer substantially new measures, including stiffer sanctions, to penalize North Korea's behavior. Trump told reporters the U.S.

Putting harsh campaign rhetoric about China's "rape" of the USA economy in the rear-view mirror, Trump went out of his way to praise Xi for help on North Korea and Syria. As part of the multinational force operation, both U.S. special forces teams will lead a rehearsal of removing Kim Jong-un and destroying of North Korea's nuclear weapons.

"We are really anxious about what Washington has in mind for North Korea after it hinted at the possibility of a unilateral military scenario", the ministry said in a statement.

"We watch what changes from image to image", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes