Trump just confused North Korea's current leader with his dad (and grandfather)

China has close economic ties with North Korea, despite United Nations sanctions, which is why U.S. President Donald Trump went out of his way to woo the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, in recent weeks.

Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted North Korea over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said a period of patience had followed.

The White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence told reporters that the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded about 4 to 5 seconds after it was launched. The U.S. has hastened its deployment of a missile-defense system in South Korea that Japan may someday adopt.

The United States, Pence said, would be unwavering in its alliances and unyielding in its resolve.

In a sign of Beijing's hardening attitude, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, said in an editorial on Monday that China could enforce "stricter measures" against North Korea, including a ban on oil exports, or join a US -led effort to block the North's access to worldwide financial markets.

Both the US and South Korea believe that the recent missile test by North Korea failed.

When the US dropped MOAB onto Islamic State tunnels in Afghanistan, it signaled to North Korea that it had a bomb that could get all the way into its main nuclear site believed to be in the mountains near Yongbyon.

U.S. officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

Susan Thornton, acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated China's position that the crisis could only be resolved by diplomacy.

"I think the Chinese have tremendous leverage on trade, diplomacy, sanctions".

Ross, seen as more hardline on trade, was also visiting Tokyo and met Japan's trade minister Hiroshige Seko, a sign a bilateral trade deal was among Washington's top priorities.

Mr Trump, asked if he was considering military action, told Fox News he didn't want to "telegraph" his plans like the previous administration.

The Trump administration is hoping that China will help rein in North Korea in exchange for other considerations.

It would be in no one's interests, particularly the long-deprived North Korean population, were dynastic despot Kim Jong-un to take the final steps to achieving that goal.

President Trump, according to Spicer, "holds his cards close to the vest, and you're not going to see him telegraphing how he's going to respond to any military or other situation going forward".

Trump and Xi spent a couple of days earlier this month at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago talking about trade and the threat posed by North Korea.

"Solve the problem in North Korea".

He said that with the action on Syria, Trump "made sure that members of Congress were notified of his action in a very, very short amount of time".

Russian state media, which hailed his election win, have made a U-turn.

  • Joanne Flowers