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North Korea shows activity at nuclear site

North Korea shows activity at nuclear site

Beijing has repeatedly called for a "dual-track and suspension" approach where the North would stop its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the US and South Korea halting military exercises.

Later Thursday, Abe called a National Security Council meeting to analyze the latest North Korea developments and ways to respond in case of a "provocation" from Pyongyang, said Suga, a council member.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "North Korea is looking for trouble".

Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump's missile barrage on Syria last week and decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat on Afghanistan Thursday revealed his willingness to shake up strategy and conveyed an implicit warning that he is not afraid to use force.

In response Xi briefly explained the history of the relationship between China and North Korea. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence travels to South Korea on Sunday on a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia. Let's just hope we make it through the weekend without nuclear war.

"The U.S. introduces into the Korean peninsula, the world's biggest hotspot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the peninsula and pushing the situation there to the brink of a war", the North's KCNA news agency said on Friday, citing the statement.

"Whatever comes from USA politicians, if their words are created to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them", he said.

"As for the nuclear test, that is something that our headquarters decides".

"We certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike", he said.

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A North Korea monitor has reported that Pyongyang is in the final stages of its next nuclear test. "So that's why. It's not the DPRK but the United States and Trump that makes trouble".

Tensions on the peninsula have soared this week amid speculation of a possible sixth nuclear test, following two past year, as Pyongyang works to develop a long-range weapon that could strike the US. He added that North Korea will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in "quality and quantity" and said Pyongyang is ready to go to war if that's what Trump wants.

The Pentagon has refused to "publicly speculate on possible scenarios" of military action again North Korea, neither confirming nor denying reports that the United States navy is positioned within striking distance for preemptive action if Pyongyang tries to conduct a nuclear test. A report Thursday afternoon from NBC News claimed the US could strike the North Korean nuclear testing site with tomahawk missiles fired from two strategically positioned Navy destroyers if it decides to carry out the test.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and neighbour, which nevertheless opposes Pyongyang's weapons programme, has called for talks leading to a peaceful resolution and the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Many North Korea watchers believe North Korea could have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland on Trump's watch as president - within the next few years. He said China is willing to support any such effort.

Han's remarks came amid heightened tensions that North Korea may carry out its sixth nuclear test or launch a long-range rocket in its key anniversaries in April.

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have surged in recent days.

Seoul and Tokyo are considered at greatest risk of a North Korean counterattack in the even of a pre-emptive strike by the US.

On Saturday, it marks the "Day of the Sun", the 105th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung.

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