Global News

White House briefs Senate amid scary moment with North Korea

White House briefs Senate amid scary moment with North Korea

South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the country's acting leader in place of ousted President Park Geun-hye, who has been arrested over corruption allegations, has instructed his military to strengthen its "immediate response posture" in case the North does something significant on the April 25 anniversary.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests past year alone, which would have improved its knowledge on making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

In the past two weeks, Trump has ordered high-powered USA military vessels, including an aircraft carrier, to the region in a show of force to deter North Korea from more nuclear and missile tests.

And on Wednesday, South Korea started installing key parts of a contentious USA missile defense system against North Korean missiles that also has sparked Chinese and Russian concerns.

North Korea was removed from the list in 2008, during the administration of US President Bill Clinton, in exchange for concessions by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il - the father of Kim Jong-un - regarding the country's then-fledgling nuclear program.

The massive artillery drill adds to increased tensions between the United States and North Korea, which has ratcheted up in recent weeks and prompted the United States to send an aircraft carrier strike group and nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea as a show of force.

The South Korean military was monitoring the situation and "firmly maintaining readiness", it said.

Harris conceded that North Korean retaliation to any USA strikes could cause many casualties, but added that there was the risk "of a lot more Koreans and Japanese and Americans dying if North Korea achieves its nuclear aims and does what (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) has said it's going to do".

South Korea's navy said it was conducting a live-fire exercise with US destroyers on Tuesday in waters west of the Korean peninsula and would soon join the carrier strike group approaching the region.

The comments came after North Korea on Sunday said its military could sink the USA aircraft carrier that President Trump is sending to the region "with a single strike".

North Korea's weapons: How unsafe are they?

The USS Vinson aircraft carrier strike group made it to the Philippine Sea in waters south of Japan, according to senior USA defense officials. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the three envoys were to deepen cooperation and stay on the same page amid growing tension. A ministry source said Wu was likely to meet his Japanese counterpart, Kenji Kanasugi, on Wednesday.

With driver still inside - after collision
Steimke's video caption said that the two had been driving in this manner for four miles. Finally, the truck's driver realized what was happening and stopped.

North Korea's military staged a "large-scale artillery drill" in the country's east Tuesday to mark the founding of the country's army.

South Korea's envoy, Kim Hong-kyun, said they had also discussed how to get Russia's help to press North Korea. It did not elaborate.

North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat is perhaps the most serious security challenge confronting President Donald Trump, who has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

"Irony is that the United States, which is wholly to blame for pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of a nuclear orchestrating the farce of hyping up "threat" from someone", the official KCNA news agency quoted a North Korea Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

Meanwhile, the entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House for a briefing on Wednesday about the North Korea situation.

"The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable", Trump told a meeting with the 15 UN Security Council ambassadors, including China and Russian Federation, at the White House.

On Monday, Trump called for tougher United Nations sanctions on the North, saying it was a global threat and "a problem that we have to finally solve". John McCain, R-Ariz., said.

Trump spoke by phone with both the Japanese and Chinese leaders Monday.

News of the live-fire drill came after the USS Michigan, the nuclear-powered powered OH class submarine, pulled into the South Korean port of Busan for a hull check.

Although a major event around the anniversary was viewed as possible, the morning came and went without any nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches.

As well as his military show of force, Trump has sought to press China to do more to rein in its nuclear-armed neighbour.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would be sending the USS Vinson, an aircraft carrier, to the Korean Peninsula, after USA officials said they anticipated a fresh round of nuclear tests and missile launches.

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