North Korea hits out at Trump and vows 'thermonuclear war'

Any fighting on the Korean Peninsula is likely to draw in China, which has repeatedly expressed concerns about a wave of refugees and the possible presence of US and South Korean troops on its border. "And if not, we'll go and handle that ourselves with our allies".

If the United States showed any sign of "reckless" military aggression, Pyongyang was ready to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own, Han said. "A preemptive nuclear strike is not something the USA has a monopoly on", North Korean government official Lee Yong Pil told NBC News in an interview.

The country's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of former President Barack Obama.

North Korea's vice foreign minister says, "We will go to war" if the USA chooses to provoke it.

Concerns have been growing that North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of U.N. sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that a policy of patience was over.

He warned that the North stands ready to conduct a nuclear test anytime upon the leadership's decision.

"As long as dialogue takes place, it can be official or unofficial, through one channel or dual channels, bilateral or multilateral".

Han, however, said North Korea blames Trump and the USA for the rising tensions.

"Whatever comes from USA politicians, if their words are created to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them".

"Unfortunately it's not a new surprise for us, (North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un) continues to develop this programme, he continues to launch missiles into the Sea of Japan".

"The closer such big targets as nuclear powered aircraft carriers come (to the Korean peninsula), the greater would be the effect of merciless strikes", the statement added.

U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Jinping seem to have gotten along quite well since their meeting in early April.

Trump and aides have said the United States will address the North Korea on its own if China doesn't.

This in turn reduced USA options and "makes it more likely that you get a bad decision, a tough day for the leader of North Korea", he told Washington's Center for Strategic and worldwide studies.

But North Korea is blaming President Donald Trump and the US for the rising tensions in that region, according to CNBC.

Han told AP that Pyongyang won't "keep its arms crossed" in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

Japan says it is maintaining high levels of surveillance and taking "every possible measure" to respond to any contingency on the Korean Peninsula, where North Korea is warning of war and more nuclear tests.

The menacing boast came as a USA aircraft carrier group headed for the region amid rising fears the secretive state is on the verge of another nuclear weapons test.

On Saturday, North Korea will celebrate the "Day of the Sun", which marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. More damage to fragile US-North Korea relations could be done this coming weekend, when North Korea celebrates the birthday of its founder (typically a time to try out new military equipment) and Trump stews alone at his golf club in Florida.

  • Leroy Wright