Korea 'litmus test' of US-China relations: Snyder


According to Pyongyang's state-owned news agency KCNA, Kim inspected the two military units on Jangjae and Mu isles, near South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island that North Korea bombarded in 2010.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo was in South Korea this week, conducting "detailed security discussions" with his South Korean counterpart and visiting an island near the border between the North and the South, the USA military command in South Korea said in a statement Tuesday.

The commentary said North Korea's nuclear program exists to protect the country from invasion and Pyongyang would not scrap it to ease tensions.

In North Korea's version of the story, the treasonous suspect was given at least $20,000 and had two points of contact with foreign spies.

Terrorism is a common enemy to all people, the North Korean government said.

On one hand, when the American President Donald Trump publicly stated that he would be "honored" to meet the North Korea's supreme leader, the North Korean Foreign Ministry has accused Mr. Trump of driving their region into an extremely risky phase.

It is likely that any economic pressure will negatively affect China, which is North Korea's closest trading partner.

Analysts say North Korea appears concerned about the new threat posed by the administration of US President Donald Trump.

North Korea is accusing the US and South Korea of plotting to assassinate leader Kim Jong-un.

It is widely believed to have mounted a hacking attack of Sony Pictures in 2014 as a retaliation against "The Interview", a comedy based on a fictional plot to assassinate Kim.

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North Korea has also repeatedly accused the US of plotting preemptive nuclear strikes on Pyongyang, practicing dropping nuclear bombs on North Korea with planes which aren't even capable of carrying nuclear devices, and planning a massive invasion of the North.

Such moves would be a step toward the country's goal of developing nuclear-armed missiles capable of reaching the US mainland.

Tillerson said the Trump administration also had been "leaning hard into China ... to test their willingness to use their influence, their engagement with the regime". North Korea has repeatedly demanded their return.

Pyongyang has accused the United States and South Korea in the past of plots to assassinate its leadership.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has continued military drills that have infuriated North Korea.

The US has sent a warship to the region and installed a controversial anti-missile defence system in South Korea.

The 1,800-word report did not specify when the alleged assassination plot was stopped.

The half-brother of Kim Jong-un was poisoned with the VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport and died en route to a hospital.

The US also deployed a naval strike group to the Korean Peninsula, angering Pyongyang, and US officials have said all options are on the table.