South Korea says believes Washington will consult before striking North Korea

The United Nations also could prohibit the use of North Korean contracted labor overseas and expand the restrictions on North Korean coal exports to a total ban, the officials said.

The US dispatched aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson after the latest missile test by North Korea last week, drawing a forceful warning from Pyongyang.

Xi told Trump that China is willing to continue working with the United States on denuclearization, according to a brief description of the call released by the Chinese foreign ministry.

Hua Chunying, spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said she was unaware of a South Korean media report stating that 150,000 Chinese troops had been deployed to the North Korean border after U.S. air strikes on Syria last week.

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the Oval Office of the White House April 12, 2017. China and others frankly are going to scramble to come up with ways to essentially appease Trump before things go too far.

Trump had repeatedly called on China to do more to rein in its "unruly neighbour", which stepped up its missile development and nuclear weapons programme since 2016, reported CNN. Rumors of an imminent attack were even circulating in South Korea.

He also that solving the standoff wasn't "as simple as people would think" because China's long history with North Korea made it more hard for it to crack down on the rogue nation's nuclear weapons program.

In a sign of Beijing's growing frustration with North Korea, China's Global Times newspaper said on Wednesday that North Korea should halt any nuclear and missile activities "for its own security" - a reference to the approaching USA naval force. In fact, I hear today two massive coal ships from North Korea were sent back to North Korea, heading to China.

He also said the USA would "solve the problem" with or without Beijing's help. They've been turned back.

"Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea", he tweeted.

Xi told Trump on April 12 that China is intent on "safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means", Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The reclusive state has always been on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five atomic tests, two of them a year ago. "Earlier, US Presidents would adopt a wait and watch strategy, but not President Donald Trump". "I don't want to talk about it", he said.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said of the deployment: "This goes to prove that the US' reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase". We'll see what happens.

  • Larry Hoffman