U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts statement condemning N.K. missile launch

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two a year ago, and satellite imagery suggests it's prepared for another one at a moment's notice.

Lu, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said Beijing was "gravely concerned" about North Korea's recent nuclear and missile activities but praised Washington's approach to the issue.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Haley told reporters, "It is important that North Korea know we are not trying to pick a fight, so don't try to give us one". The armada's location is also uncertain.

Pyongyang didn't carry out a nuclear test - as had been widely expected - to mark the birthday celebrations for its late founder and the current leader's grandfather Kim Il Sung last weekend.

North Korea state media warned on Thursday of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" that would reduce South Korea and the United States to "ashes".

North Korea has defied the United Nations sanctions by conducting several missile and nuclear tests.

It's unclear whether Trump was quoting Xi or had misunderstood what he was told when he said Korea had been part of China. On Sunday, it attempted to test fire another missile, but it was unsuccessful, according to South Korean and US officials. Developing a hydrogen bomb is also a declared priority of North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK.

"It's a menace. So we'll see what happens", he said.

A US defense official told CNN that China put its cruise missile-capable bombers on "high alert" on Wednesday and appears to be conducting intense maintenance on a large number of military aircraft.

An official Chinese newspaper said there was optimism about persuading the North to end its pursuit of its nuclear programme without the use of force, "now that even the once tough-talking Donald Trump is onboard for a peaceful solution".

A concept paper circulated to council members ahead of the meeting states that North Korea's "pursuit of weapons of mass destruction represents one of the gravest threats to worldwide peace and security the Security Council faces". And on Monday he had Vice-President Mike Pence posing at the north-south border and proclaiming that the United States' "era of strategic patience is over".

On Monday, Hwang and Pence reaffirmed their plans to go ahead with the THAAD, but the decision will be up to the next South Korean president.

The Korean peninsula has been witnessing escalating tensions amid Pyongyang's missile activity and nuclear tests conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

"The truth seems to be that the US military and president jointly created fake news and it is without doubt a rare scandal in USA history, which will be bound to cripple Trump's and USA dignity", it said.

It has said it has developed a missile that can strike the mainland United States, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from doing that.

The officials said Trump's approach is based on a careful review of past U.S. efforts to deal with North Korea, noting that during the analysis of failed negotiating efforts with the long-reigning Kim family, one thing became abundantly clear: "China has never exerted maximum leverage on the Kim regime".

Beyond recognizing Beijing's mutual interest in resolving the nuke crisis, it isn't clear how the Trump administration wants China to help, Sneider said.

  • Leroy Wright