U.S. vows to force N.Korea back to nuclear talks

It made no specific mention of military options, though it said the US would defend itself and friends.

On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a US missile defence system being deployed in South Korea.

The Trump administration says North Korea's nuclear ambitions are an urgent national security threat and will put diplomatic measures and economic sanctions in place.

The group states its mission is to mobilize women for peace in Korea globally, "Since 1950, the Korean peninsula has been threatened with nuclear weapons, missile tests, and military exercises that have only served to make 75 million Korean people less secure".

Seoul held a large annual drill of its own Wednesday, involving some 100 artillery pieces, 90 armored vehicles and 50 aircraft, as well as 2,000 South Korean and USA troops, the defense ministry said.

From his interviews and research, Rand's Bennett believes that both sides can effectively prepare for unification by improving policy in five areas.

The United States pledged Wednesday to step up sanctions to force North Korea to resume dialogue over its nuclear programme, but said it was not looking to bring Kim Jong-Un s regime to its knees.

Among them, the United States and 16 countries dispatched combat soldiers, with five others sending medical teams.

"China strongly urges the US and [South Korea] to stop actions that will worsen regional tensions and harm China's strategic security interests, cancel the deployment of the THAAD system and withdraw the relevant equipment", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.

Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry called US attempts to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons through military threats and sanctions "a wild dream" and like "sweeping the sea with a broom".

Cruz made the remarks on Wednesday night, after attending a "long and detailed" private meeting at the White House, where all 100 members of the Senate were invited to discuss tensions with North Korea.

Earlier Wednesday, US troops in South Korea began deploying a contentious anti-missile system in South Korea that has infuriated China.

Despite the seemingly straightforward goal, the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, remains a controversial topic in South Korea and even has become an issue in the upcoming presidential election. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is also headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea. The DPRK has issued nuclear threats and talk of military action, if necessary, from the United States.

Adm. Harry Harris told the House Armed Services Committee that Hawaii's defenses were sufficient for now, but could one day be overwhelmed in an onslaught. The commander of U.S. Pacific Command said North Korea doesn't have a weapon that can threaten the group.

USA officials have warned that a conflict with North Korea could have a devastating effect on ally South Korea and US troops based there, a point Pyongyang underscored by a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military.

It comes around the same time the US and South Korea conducted military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

The warning comes after North Korea last week accused Australia of "blindly and zealously toeing the USA line" and threatened a nuclear strike.

  • Leroy Wright