United States warships reportedly headed towards Korea peninsula

United States warships reportedly headed towards Korea peninsula

China understands how unsafe North Korea's nuclear program has become and agrees action must be taken to stop it, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday, as the US sent an aircraft carrier strike group toward the Korean Peninsula.

"The possibility of North Korea pushing ahead with a nuclear test before the (85th) anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army on April 25 can not be ruled out", Cheong said in a forum in Seoul.

U.S. President Donald Trump will review options to remove the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear arsenal, McMaster told Fox News Sunday, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed with Trump last week that the situation is unacceptable.

However, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Kim Hong-kyun said there was no mention of any military option in his talks with China's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, Wu Dawei.

The possibility of US military action against North Korea in response to such tests gained traction following last week's strikes against Syria.

Despite Tillerson's assessment, China hasn't signaled any change in its approach to Pyongyang in the wake of the landmark summit. After the meeting, the leaders will issue a summary statement.

"China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue has been consistent", she said.

And in a separate interview with CBS, Tillerson said China also sees North Korea as a threat, adding that presidents Trump and Xi shared that perspective during their recent summit in Florida.

"It is assumed that North Korea would finish sophisticating its nuclear capabilities through the last nuclear test ahead of the launch of a new administration in the South before seeking to mend the fence with the new administration using a nuclear test freeze as a negotiating card", he noted.

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Hua reiterated this approach at Monday's briefing.

Ms. Zhang added: "The scale of the United States and South Korean joint military drills is becoming bigger, and pre-emptive exercises send a clear warning to Kim that the USA can destroy North Korea if it wants".

Amid concerns that Pyongyang could be preparing to launch a sixth nuclear test, United States president Donald Trump ordered the Singapore-based USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and several smaller vessels to sail towards the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has been trying to develop a long-range missile carrying a nuclear warhead that is capable of hitting the US mainland, a distance of about 8,000 kilometers. Global trade has brought benefits from increased productivity to lower prices, but governments have not adequately helped workers and communities hit hard by imports, the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and World Bank say in a report representing their answer to the Trump administration's more protectionist trade stance.

North Korea has ramped up its nuclear program under its relatively new leader Kim Jong Un, carrying out two nuclear tests and launching some 20 ballistic missiles past year alone. There has been much speculation that Pyongyang will test missiles or possibly a nuclear device to mark the day.

The global community also is concerned that North Korea could be working on an intercontinental ballistic missile, which could reach the western United States as well as other countries closer to North Korea.

"In terms of North Korea, we've been very clear that our objective is a denuclearized Korea peninsula". There were conflicting accounts about how far it flew.

China is the isolated country's sole major ally and economic lifeline, and Beijing in February suspended all coal imports from the North in punishment for Pyongyang's latest missile test.

"Because North Korea places most of its assets underground, it will be hard for the Vinson group to do a lot of damage to North Korea on its own", he said.

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