US Defence Secretary hints at 'military options' against North Korea

North Koreans watching missile

GETTYNorth Koreans watch the missile launch

Secondly, 10 million inhabitants in Seoul would be put in Pyongyang's immediate cross hairs for retaliation, which is only 35 miles from the demilitarised zone along the border between North and South Korea, the New York Times reported.

"We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea", Trump said in response to a question at a meeting with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. Trump has pushed Beijing, which is the North's only major ally, to do more to influence Pyongyang's behaviour, so far to no avail.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated in a September 12 press briefing that while "China can do more" when it comes to North Korea, its shift in stance to back the resolutions of the UN Security Council is "significant".

Manila's foreign ministry said it had suspended trade relations with North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions over the North's repeated missile tests.

The U.S. jets few alongside four South Korean F-15K jet fighters as part of "routine" training, the statement said, adding that the allies would continue such exercises to "improve their joint operation capabilities against contingencies".

Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile, but he has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbor.

Threatening action or rhetoric can not help resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula, China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hinted about the existence of military options on North Korea.

The sanctions came after North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test.

On Thursday, South Korea's Moon said sanctions were needed to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table and force it to give up its nuclear weapons, but Seoul was not seeking North Korea's collapse.

A Department of State official, requesting anonymity, said that the U.S. "praises the Spanish government's decision to take this step to increase the pressure on the North Korean regime".

Later, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that "some related parties" — a reference to the USA and North Korea — "keep sending threatening messages both in words and deeds that include warnings of military action".

United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley will brief the news media at 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT), the White House said. Administration officials reaffirmed the United States' long-standing policy that the North must agree to relinquish its nuclear arsenal as a prerequisite for direct diplomatic talks.

The last time the South had sent aid to the North was in December 2015 through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under former President Park Geun-hye.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the US has not yet shot down any North Korean missiles because they have not posed a threat to the United States or its allies.

South Korea suspended humanitarian aid to North Korea after the country conducted its fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

Once again the North slammed the United States for calling for a new round of "reckless and ridiculous" sanctions on the country.

The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, fired from Pyongyang, overflew the territory of northern Japan and landed in waters east of the nation.

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