Trump Calls Korean Leader Over THAAD Talks with China

North Korea blasts US strikes on Syria says justify nukes state media

China's recent moves seem to reflect U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's statement in an interview with CBS following Trump and Xi's summit, that Beijing is beginning to recognize that North Korea presents a threat to even China's interest.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his top national security adviser to prepare "a full range of options" for dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats as Pyongyang appears to be gearing up for its next provocation.

"If you violate global agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken", Tillerson told ABC's "This Week".

As a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the Korean Peninsula to send a message to North Korea, McMaster told Fox News, "This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime".

On Sunday, North Korean officials called the US action in Syria "absolutely unpardonable", and claimed the strike proved that its own nuclear weapons were justified to protect the country against Washington's "evermore reckless moves for a war".

Seoul and Washington are also conducting joint military drills, an annual exercise seen by North Korea as a practice for war.

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"Presidents before and President Trump agreed this is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearization of the peninsula", McMaster said. Meanwhile, in response to the increased tensions in the region, the US has responded by sending an aircraft carrier group close to the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has pledged to bolster its defenses to protect against such airstrikes.

USA military warships, stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, fired dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat air base near the Syrian city of Homs on Friday, following allegations that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons on a town in the Idlib province earlier.

Pyongyang tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile this month.

"While I have no doubt that any administration faced with an extremist threat from North Korea to launch a missile with a nuclear warhead on it toward the United States would act decisively to stop that, I think it's much less likely that any administration including this one would try to use force pre-emptively to destroy North Korea's nuclear or missile programs", Blinken said.

China has agreed to "strong" new measures to punish North Korea if it carries out a nuclear test, Seoul said on Monday after the USA signalled it may act to shut down Pyongyang's weapons programme.

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