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U.S. seeks tough action against North Korea but China shows no inclination

U.S. seeks tough action against North Korea but China shows no inclination

Japan's defence ministry said the Izumo left to eventually participate in an global naval event in Singapore on May 15.

The dispatch of Carl Vinson to the waters off the Korean peninsula is a "reckless action of the war maniacs aimed at an extremely unsafe nuclear war", the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary on Saturday.

North Korea is believed to have launched a KN-17 intermediate ballistic missile in the early hours of Saturday from a site north of Pyongyang.

The North says its defense programs are necessary in the face of the United States aggression and has threatened the U.S. with a pre-emptive attack.

"It depends on the actions of others whose help we're looking for in resolving this problem and moving toward the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", the official said.

"Diplomatic and financial leverage or power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary", he said while chairing a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Tillerson, in a U.N. Security Council meeting on North Korea, repeated the Trump administration's position that all options were on the table if Pyongyang persisted with its nuclear and missile development.

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Sergey Kislyak, according to White House officials, two full weeks after Yates first met with McGahn. The House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own simultaneous investigations.

The launch comes with tensions high on the Korean peninsula, with US President Donald Trump warning of the risk of a "major conflict".

North Korea's state media has said the North's military is capable of sinking the USA aircraft carrier with a single strike.

"Combative rhetoric coupled with reckless muscle-flexing" on North Korea has led to serious fears of war, Gennady Gatilov said.

Wang put forward a familiar Chinese idea to ease tensions: North Korea suspending its nuclear and missile activities if the US and South Korea stop military exercises in the region.

A major focus is how the new USA administration will deal with North Korea from now on, and whether there will be even a slight adjustment to its approach after tensions have escalated to a level described by Pyongyang as close to "the brink of war".

"It's possible that something could be sped up", the official said of the potential for imposing a limited package of targeted sanctions on North Korea.

Tensions in the region have increased lately, with both North and South Korea conducting military exercises.

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Tillerson said the USA does not seek regime change in North Korea, and he signaled American openness to holding direct negotiations with Pyongyang.

An official says a contentious US anti-missile system based in southeastern South Korea is operating and can defend against North Korean missiles.

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group is heading towards the waters off the Korean peninsula where it will join the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine in a show of force.

But a recent United Nations study found that fragments from a North Korean missile test included electronics that had been obtained either from or via Chinese enterprises.

Some experts on the North Korea issue have noted the country's move to re-establish the Diplomatic Commission of the Supreme People's Assembly, which was announced three days before the 105th birth anniversary of national founder Kim Il Sung. Washington and Seoul reject the idea.

Tillerson said the North must take "concrete steps" to reduce its weapons threat before talks could occur.

What are the sanctions on North Korea?

S&P 500, Nasdaq eke out records as Apple gains
The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 1 per cent to $45.96 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 1.1 per cent to $48.79. Analysts said USA markets were pressured by Chinese data showing slower export growth in April than in the previous month.


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