Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

USA looking at more sanctions, military action to counter North Korea

On Sunday, speaking to Fox News, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the issue would be resolved "one way or the other".

USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the North Koreans had probably tested a medium-range missile known as a KN-17 and it appeared to have broken up within minutes of taking off. And so this is something that we know we can not tolerate.

"Now, if China can help us with North Korea and can solve that problem - that's worth making not as good a trade deal for the United States", he said.

Trump, in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping for "trying very hard" on North Korea but warned a "major, major conflict" was possible.

The US supply ship is expected to support America's naval fleet in the Pacific, possibly including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which remains on high alert over North Korea's ballistic missile firings, the reports said.

Italian UN ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, who heads the UN committee that could sanction North Korea, said he hoped Pyongyang would "refrain from any other further escalation".

President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman says U.S. President Donald Trump has called the Philippine leader and expressed Washington's commitment to their treaty alliance and his interest in developing "a warm, working relationship" with Duterte.

In addition to Kim Jong Un threatening to sink the USS Michigan, the Korea Herald reports that during a series of military exercises a few days ago, Kim indicated through state-controlled media that Korea would sink the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson as well.

Recently, tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running sky-high with sign of North Korea preparing a long-range missile launch or a sixth nuclear test - and with Washington refusing to rule out a military strike in response.

The U.S. has faced tense situations with North Korea for decades.

US President Donald Trump cast the launch as a direct snub against China, one of North Korea's only allies and a nation seen by the Trump administration as a potential US ally in efforts to stamp out Pyongyang's nuclear program. Pyongyang said it was only practicing to hit US military bases in Japan.

People are saying, "Is he sane?"

That means, General McMaster said, working to enforce current United Nations sanctions and perhaps ratcheting them up.

Moon Seong Mook, a South Korean analyst and former military official, says that the North would gain valuable knowledge even from failed launches as it continues to improve its technologies for missiles.

The UN Security Council is likely to start discussing a statement to condemn the missile launch, said diplomats.

Trump also said that he believes China's president has been putting pressure on North Korea as it pursues its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Trump's comments come after North Korea carried out a test-launch of what USA officials said was a short-range ballistic missile, a test banned under United Nations sanctions.

Trump also called North Korea's leader "a pretty smart cookie" for being able to hold onto power after taking over at a young age.

Despite the swirling questions and ongoing investigations into his and his team's ties to Russia, Trump still says he wants to work with Moscow.

Meanwhile, South Korea has contradicted Mr Trump's assertion that Seoul would pay for the $1bn (€916m) cost of deploying the anti-missile system in the capital to defend against North Korea. In a recent interview, Trump suggested that the South should pay for the $1.0-billion dollar THAAD anti-missile system that the U.S. is deploying on its ally's territory.

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