Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump team braces for North Korea 'event,' including a possible nuke test

There is also intense speculation that North Korea could carry out a sixth nuclear bomb test or another missile launch - possibly a long-range missile - on Saturday. Trump has repeatedly issued ambiguous threats that if Beijing isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the US might take the matter into its own hands.

"Whatever comes from the United States, we will cope with it". "And if not, we'll go and handle that ourselves with our allies".

The Vice Minister, speaking to the Associated Press, said North Korea will "certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike". "We've just given China the opportunity to engage".

"The bottom line is that North Korea has an improving nuclear weapons arsenal", said David Albright, the institute's president.

Instead, the country is gearing up for its biggest holiday of the year, the 105th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and leader Kim Jong Un's grandfather.

North Korea's vice foreign minister today blamed President Donald Trump for building up a "vicious cycle" of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, saying that his "aggressive" tweets were "making trouble". The issue constituted a principal topic of conversation in his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week.

Trump and aides have said the United States will address the North Korea on its own if China doesn't. But it's doubtful the North is now able to build reliable, survivable warheads for an intercontinental ballistic missile that can strike the USA mainland, he said.

"That is something that our headquarters decides", Han said.

"Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple loss. No one can become a victor", Wang told reporters at a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage".

He urged all sides to take a flexible approach to resuming dialogue. "At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place".

Mr Wang said: "One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment".

Starting Monday, the Chinese flag carrier Air China will suspend flights from Beijing to Pyongyang, state broadcaster CCTV reported. No reason was given for the suspension.

An influential Washington think tank estimated Friday that North Korea could already have up to 30 bombs.

The officials said the goal of engagement would have to be North Korea's denuclearization.

"Our toughest counteraction against the USA and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive", read a statement from the army, reported in English by North Korea's official news agency, KCNA.

"It's high stakes", a senior intelligence official involved in the planning told NBC News.

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