Kim says N. Korea's nuclear weapons will prevent war with US

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.   AP

China has denied breaching United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

A marine official also confirmed the seizure, which he said was done "recently".

"This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment", Kim added. The test stoked concerns that Pyongyang may be getting closer than previously thought to a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea is holding a second ship on suspicion of supplying oil to North Korea in violation of global sanctions meant to punish Kim Jong-un's regime for its nuclear weapons and missile programmes. "And I just don't. see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point".

"The US can not wage a war against our country at all", Kim added.

Kim also emphasized that "the nuclear button is always on my desk", which he said is "not blackmail but reality". Lindsey Graham, of SC, who said Sunday that 2018 could be a year of "extreme danger". "But if we blink, God help us all", Graham said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation".

North Korea had achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state.

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Two North Korean athletes - pairs figures skaters - have qualified for the Games but missed the October 30 deadline to confirm to the International Skating Union that they would participate. If the North Koreans conduct an additional test of a nuclear bomb -- their seventh -- "I would say 70 percent", he said. The United Nations Security Council last month approved its strongest sanctions yet on North Korea - a move that Pyongyang described as an "act of war".

"He made a decision early on to deny the North Korean regime the capability to hit America with a nuclear-tipped missile", including the use of military force, if necessary, Graham said.

He said there could never be "a friendly solution" to the North Korea crisis if oil was allowed to be exported to Pyongyang.

"Now, the Iranians are watching the way he engages with North Korea, and vice versa".

The Lighthouse Winmore was one of 10 ships the United States asked the United Nations to ban from global ports this month over its alleged dealings with North Korea, according to Reuters.

"Do not expect any change in its policy", the report read.

As tensions spiked in the region in recent months, the global community has slapped a range of sanctions on the North aimed at curbing its weapons programme and squeezing the country's leadership.

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