United Nations should consider ´stronger sanctions´ on N.Korea

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all sides to exercise restraint on Monday in a call about North Korea with U.S. President Donald Trump, as Japan conducted joint drills with a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group headed for Korean waters.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that a North Korean nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. would be a "grave threat" and anticipated North Korea could achieve this capability before Trump would begin his second term.

North Korea celebrates the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday, and has marked similar events in the past with nuclear tests or missile launches.

The conversations between Trump and two of his counterparts in Asia (where it was Monday morning) took place as a US Navy strike force, led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, is approaching the Korean peninsula.

Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said on Monday.

Adding to North Korean anger was the news that two Japanese destroyers had joined the strike group for exercises, and South Korean vessels were also set to join.

Park said he was told Kim's detention had "nothing to do" with his teaching in North Korea, but did not know further details of his detention.

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"Our super-hard-line responses include sudden, preemptive strikes involving land, naval, underwater, and airmobile assets", North Korea's state-run website Uriminzokkiri continued.

"International circumstances are changing rapidly, and it's extremely necessary for China and the United States to maintain close contacts and promptly exchange views on major issues", Xi said. Experts also believe that it may be preparing for another nuclear test, defying United Nations resolutions.

North Korean state media is promising that if those "arrogant aircraft carriers" get too close, Pyongyang will turn them into "a lump of scrap metal" - allowing the world to "clearly see" how the United States "vanishes from the Earth". "I think that they are trying to put the pressure on North Korea, and I think it's working".

Amid the heightened tensions, North Korea detained a third us citizen in Pyongyang on Saturday, the Swedish Embassy confirmed to NBC News.

The statement came just hours after a North Korean newspaper said Pyongyang was ready to take out a United States aircraft carrier conducting drills with Japanese destroyers near the Philippines.

Just days earlier, Pence said the US would have an "overwhelming and effective" response to further North Korean aggression. "North Korea's unlawful weapons programs represent a clear, grave threat to USA national security".

But the United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, and works with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang to try to free detained Americans.

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