High possibility of war with North Korea, warns new South Korean president

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Two senior national security advisers to Trump will meet Moon's top foreign policy adviser, Chung Eui-yong, in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss a summit of the leaders and the North's missile test, a source with direct knowledge of the meeting said.

North Korea has made no secret of the fact that it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States mainland and has ignored calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, even from China, its lone major ally.

China for its part has been infuriated by the US deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tension with Pyongyang.

US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said yesterday that China's leverage was key.

North Korea has made no secret of the fact that it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States mainland and has ignored calls to halt its nuclear and missile programmes, even from China, its lone major ally.

North Korea conducted its latest ballistic missile test on Sunday in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, saying it was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

Adm. Harry Harris Jr. made the remarks at a lecture for a Tokyo think tank after meeting with Japanese leaders that he said focused on North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

Communications were severed by the North past year, Lee said, in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's last nuclear test and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated inside the North.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks while Japan's UN ambassador Koro Bessho (L) and South Korea's UN ambassador Cho Tae-yul (R) look on during a press encounter ahead of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council at the United Nations in New York, US, May 16, 2017.

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Despite the push for a tougher stance, Haley held out the prospect of direct talks with North Korea, saying "we are willing to talk but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any test there".

"And if you think you need nuclear weapons to do that. how do you deal with the fact that the USA is going to make you a smouldering, radioactive hole at the end of that?"

The council demanded North Korea halt its tests and said it was ready to impose further sanctions.

The test has prompted leading scientists David Wright, of the UCS Global Security Program, and rocket analyst Markus Schiller, of ST Analytics in Germany, to analyse what would happen should North Korea fire a long-range strike.

Kang claimed the Central Intelligence Agency and the NIS in June 2014 recruited a North Korean citizen surnamed Kim, who was then a worker in the timber industry in Khabarovsk, Russia, to use a poisonous substance to assassinate the North Korean leader during events at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang and at a military parade.

INFOGRAPHIC: What is the reach of N Korea's missiles? .

According to Reuters, "all options are on the table, but Trump says he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions".

Another carrier, the Ronald Reagan, left Yokosuka in Japan yesterday on its regular spring patrol, which would last three to four months, a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.

North Korea is also stepping up diplomatic actions to seek support and understanding from other countries over its missile launch.

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