Here are the latest developments on the tensions with North Korea:
US and North Korea set to come face-to-face in UN. Diplomats from the US and North Korea are set to come face-to-face at a Security Council meeting in New York on Friday.
The meeting rounds off a North Korea-heavy week at the United Nations, with the Security Council discussing human rights in the nation in a session on Monday morning.
Direct diplomacy needed on North Korea. The chief US negotiator for North Korea said on Friday the US should engage in direct diplomacy with Pyongyang alongside sanctions imposed over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
China and South Korea united over threat. China and South Korea have had a tense relationship, but on Thursday they presented a united front over the North Korean standoff.
Tillerson calls on North Korea to engage in US talks. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the United States is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un without “precondition”.
Russia says Pyongyang wants direct talks with Washington. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that North Korea wants direct talks with the US to seek guarantees on its security, Russian news agencies reported.
Japan to acquire air-launched missiles. Japan is to acquire medium-range, air-launched cruise missiles, capable of striking North Korea.
“We are planning to introduce the JSM (Joint Strike Missile) that will be mounted on the F-35A (stealth fighter) as ‘stand-off’ missiles that can be fired beyond the range of enemy threats,” Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told a news conference.
More than 200 aircrafts were involved in the five-day war games, including six F-22 Raptors and six F-35 stealth fighter jets. About 12,000 US military personnel took part.
Trump pledges new ‘sanctions’ after launch. President Donald Trump vowed to slap “major sanctions” on North Korea after the country test-launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet, with a range capable of striking Washington DC.
Cuba’s foreign minister also rejected the United States’ “unilateral and arbitrary” demands on Wednesday, while expressing concern about escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, the ministry said.
Japan’s Abe vows to bolster defence: On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to bolster his country’s defences, calling the threat from North Korea the gravest security concern Japan has faced since World War II.
US says Sudan cutting trade, military ties to North Korea: On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Sudan is taking the step due to the “critical threat” posed by the North’s nuclear programme.
Duterte: War with N Korea would ‘end humanity’. On Tuesday, Rodrigo Duterte predicted a war with the North would end in a “nuclear holocaust” in his closing remarks at the ASEAN summit in Manila.
US-S Korea launch major war drills. The US and South Korea launched military manoeuvres involving three American aircraft carrier strike groups on Saturday, in a massive show of force that drew the anger of rival North Korea.
Russia opposes ‘total embargo’. “We have never supported the idea of a total embargo of North Korea, like any other country,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
Trump arrives in China. US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for his first official visit.
From Seoul, Trump had called on China to sever its relations with North Korea, saying: “You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept.”
Trump delivers speech in Seoul. US President Donald Trump delivered a speech on Wednesday at the South Korean parliament. In his speech, Trump criticised North Korea as a “cruel dictatorship”.
Trump was also meant to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas, but did not because of bad weather.
Anti-Trump demonstrations across South Korea. Representatives from several labour unions and social movements across South Korea took to Seoul streets on Tuesday to protest “warmonger” Trump.
Demonstrations have also been taking place in front of the US embassy in Seoul.
US Senate targets Chinese banks. On Tuesday, the US Senate Banking Committee unanimously backed new sanctions targeting Chinese banks that do business with North Korea.
Japan calls for more pressure. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday it was time to exert maximum pressure on North Korea.
Abe agreed with President Donald Trump that China should play a bigger role in getting Pyongyang to give up its weapons programmes.
Trump in Japan stresses unity on North Korea. President Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric against North Korea when he arrived in Japan on Sunday, saying the United States and its allies are prepared to defend freedom and “no dictator” should underestimate US resolve.
NATO urges sanctions implementation. On Tuesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged all United Nations members to fully and transparently implement sanctions against North Korea, which he said has emerged as a global threat able to fire ballistic missiles as far as Europe and North America.
Trilateral meeting in Hawaii. Senior defence officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan held trilateral talks on Monday and urged North Korea to walk away from its “destructive and reckless path” of weapons development, the US military said in a statement.
A military option must remain on the table in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday.
“I don’t think anybody could conceivably want a military solution to this problem,” Johnson said at a speech in London. “And yet clearly… the possibility of some kind of military option… that possibility must at least theoretically be maintained on the table.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would talk with Asian allies about North Korea and the crisis caused by Pyongyang’s “reckless” provocations, as he kicked off a week-long trip to the region on Monday to meet defence chiefs in the Philippines.
Mattis’ trip to Asia, which will also include stops in Thailand and South Korea, comes just weeks before President Donald Trump’s first visit to Asia.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said.
Abe and Trump spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election the previous day.
Former US President Jimmy Carter said he would be willing to travel to North Korea on behalf of the Trump administration to help diffuse rising tensions.
Carter, a Democrat who was president from 1977 to 1981, said he had spoken to Trump’s National Security Adviser Lieutenant General HR McMaster, but so far has gotten a negative response.
“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” the New York Times quoted Carter as saying.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump said he wants to “keep things very, very low key” with the Chinese President Xi Jinping until the Chinese leader emerges from the party congress.
Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with Washington about its nuclear programme, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday, declaring that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for North Korea.
Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s foreign ministry, told a non-proliferation conference in Moscow Washington would “have to put up” with North Korea’s nuclear status. “This is a matter of life and death for us. The current situation deepens our understanding that we need nuclear weapons to repel a potential attack.”
Switzerland decreed that it will implement the latest UN sanctions on North Korea, affecting the financial sector and work authorisations for North Koreans in Switzerland.
North Koreans whose employment contracts were signed before September 11 are exempt from the sanctions. Any new North Korean workers entering the state are to be turned away, according to the report.
All joint ventures and “cooperation” projects are to be suspended by January 9.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged world powers on Friday to get behind a joint Russian-Chinese roadmap for settling the crisis over North Korea’s weapons program.
Speaking at a conference on non-proliferation in Moscow, Lavrov said that the break-up of a deal on Iran‘s nuclear program would send an alarming message about international security mechanisms, and could impact the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea’s official news agency described a US aircraft carrier patrolling off the Korean Peninsula as a “primary target” and said Washington should expect an “unimaginable” attack.
North Korea condemned Seoul and Washington’s move to mobilise nuclear strategic assets near the volatile peninsula. Pyongyang has slammed the warship manoeuvres as a “rehearsal for war”.
“The US is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. The US should expect that it would face [an] unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time,” said a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea has sent a letter to Australia’s parliament, warning it is a nuclear power and will not be cowed by US President Trump’s threats to destroy it, according to a copy of the letter published in an Australian newspaper on Friday.
“If Trump thinks that he would bring the DPRK, a nuclear power, to its knees through nuclear war threat, it will be a big miscalculation and an expression of ignorance,” said a facsimile of the letter, published by the Sydney Morning Herald and verified by Australia’s foreign ministry.
“Trump threatened to totally destroy the DPRK … it is an extreme act of threatening to totally destroy the whole world.”
At a press conference in Sydney, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the note was an “unprecedented” communication. “It is not the way they usually publish their global messages. The collective strategy of imposing maximum diplomatic and economic pressure through sanctions on North Korea is working. This is a response to the pressure.”
Senior officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan reaffirmed their countries’ commitment Wednesday to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat posed by North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear program. However, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan stressed that the allies must be prepared for any contingency.
After meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul, John Sullivan said the US continues to view diplomacy, supported by pressure and sanctions, as the primary means for solving the North Korean nuclear problem.
“Our objective is, throughout that campaign of pressure, to bring North Korea to the negotiating table without preconditions so that we can achieve our objective of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula,” Sullivan said at a news conference.
Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that “cavalier” threats to start a war on the Korean Peninsula were “dangerous and short-sighted”, urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.
Clinton also called on China to take a “more out front role” in enforcing sanctions against North Korea aimed at curbing its missile and nuclear development.
“There is no need for us to be bellicose and aggressive (over North Korea),” Clinton told the World Knowledge Forum in the South Korean capital of Seoul, stressing the need for more pressure on North Korea and diplomacy to bring Pyongyang to talks.
North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador has warned the situation on the Korean Peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment”.
Kim In-ryong told the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee on Monday that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s.
He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and said what is more dangerous is what he called a US plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership”.
“The entire US mainland is within our firing range and if the US dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch, it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe,” he warned.
North Korea warned countries at the United Nations on Monday in a statement: don’t join the United States in military action against the Asian state and you will be safe from retaliation.
The caution was contained in a copy of North Korean Deputy UN Ambassador Kim In Ryong’s prepared remarks for a discussion on nuclear weapons by a UN General Assembly committee. However, Kim did not read that section out loud.
“The entire US mainland is within our firing range and if the US dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe,” the statement read.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that President Donald Trump had instructed him to continue diplomatic efforts to calm rising tensions with North Korea, saying “those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
Tillerson downplayed messages that President Trump had previously posted on Twitter suggesting Tillerson was wasting his time trying to negotiate with “Little Rocket Man,” a derogatory nickname Trump has coined for North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile ahead of an upcoming joint naval drill by the US and South Korea, a news report said Saturday, citing a government source.
The US navy said Friday that a US aircraft carrier will lead the drill in the coming week, a fresh show of force against North Korea as tensions soar over the hermit state’s weapons programme.
The move will likely rile Pyongyang which has previously responded angrily to joint exercises.
Malaysia, which until recently had been one of Pyongyang’s closest friends, has halted all imports from North Korea, as part of global efforts to cut off funding over its nuclear and missile programmes.
Malaysia did not buy any goods from North Korea in June and July, after buying $4.89m worth of goods in the first five months of the year, according to data from the Department of Statistics.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promoted his younger sister to a senior post in the one-party state, according to state media.
Kim Yo-jong became an alternate member of the party’s powerful Politburo, the decision-making body presided over by her brother, the official KCNA news agency said on Sunday.
The promotion was announced along with those for dozens of other top officials at a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on Saturday in the capital, Pyongyang.
Since inheriting power from his father in 2011, Kim has placed his younger sister in various positions in order to strengthen the position of the family within the country’s leadership.
US President Donald Trump said that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that “only one thing will work”, without elaborating further.
Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two countries rivals.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted.
It “hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!,” he said on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump dismissed the prospect of talks with North Korea as a waste of time a day after his secretary of state said the United States was maintaining open lines of communication with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man,” Trump wrote on Twitter, using his sarcastic nickname for Kim and seeming to contradict the top US diplomat.
Trump, who has traded insults and threats with Kim in recent weeks amid escalating tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes, later tweeted that his White House predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama, had all “failed” on North Korea by “being nice to rocket man”. “So why would it work now?” he asked.
A UN investigation has revealed that the Egyptian government violated an international embargo on trading weapons with North Korea.
UN and US experts say North Korea has built a vast network of overseas clients to evade international sanctions and sell cheap weapons to a long list of clients across the world.
North Korea’s state news agency has called the US-led effort to impose sanctions over its weapons programme futile, vowing the country inevitably will become a “state nuclear force”.
The comments on Sunday came from the Korean Central News Agency’s website Uriminzokkiri after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met for talks with China’s top diplomats and President Xi Jinping in Beijing on the Korean nuclear crisis.
Tillerson has been a proponent of a campaign of “peaceful pressure”, using US and UN sanctions and working with China to turn the screw on the regime.
The US says it has open channels of communication with North Korea and is “probing” whether the Pyongyang government is ready to enter talks on giving up its nuclear weapons programme.
Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, made the remarks on Saturday after an afternoon of talks with China’s top diplomats and President Xi Jinping centred on the nuclear crisis and preparations for President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing in November.
“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson said.
The US is looking to an economic squeeze of North Korea it hopes will compel the country’s retreat from nuclear arms and missile programmes.
North Korea is being warned by South Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.
The South Korean president says reckless provocations will be met with strong retaliation.
To emphasise the point, ballistic missiles and other weapons have been on show for Armed Forces Day.
Beijing has ordered North Korean-owned businesses in China to close by January, cutting foreign revenue for Pyongyang under United Nations sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programmes.
China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that companies, including joint ventures with Chinese firms, have 120 days to close from the date the UN resolution was adopted on September 11.
The sanctions spare, on a case by case basis, entities involved in non-commercial activities or public utility infrastructure projects that do not generate profits.
The US has dismissed North Korea’s accusation that President Donald Trump has declared war against the country, calling it “absurd”.
The comments come as South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said that Pyongyang had moved to bolster its coastal defences by relocating its warplanes along the east coast.
Regional and other leaders on Tuesday warned that war on the Korean Peninsula would result in “catastrophic consequences”.
The warnings came after Pyongyang said on Monday that it was ready to defend itself by shooting down American bombers, and accusing Trump of declaring war on the country.
China is limiting its oil exports to North Korea to comply with new sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council last week, which include fuel import restrictions.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website on Saturday that China would limit exports of refined petroleum products from October 1, and ban condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately.
China will also ban textile imports from the North Korea, the ministry said.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged “hot heads” to calm down, calling an escalating war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “a kindergarten fight”.
Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged US dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in retaliation for the US president saying Washington would “totally destroy” the Asian country if it threatened the US or its allies.
“We have to calm down the hot heads,” Lavrov told reporters at the United Nations on Friday, where world leaders gathered this week for the body’s annual General Assembly.
“We continue to strive for the reasonable and not the emotional approach … of the kindergarten fight between children.”
North Korea says it may test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after US President Donald Trump threatened to destroy the country, whose leader responded by promising to make a “mentally deranged” Trump pay dearly for his threats.
Speaking in New York City on Friday, Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, said his country could consider a hydrogen bomb test on an unprecedented scale on the Pacific Ocean, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Japan, the only country ever to suffer an atomic attack, described the threat from Ri as “totally unacceptable”.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called US President Donald Trump “mentally deranged” and said he would “pay dearly” for the recent threats against his country.
In a rare statement directly attributed to the North’s leader, Kim said on Friday that Trump is “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country”, describing the president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”.
Hours later, North Korea’s foreign minister reportedly said his country might be planning to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean to fulfil Kim’s vow to take the “highest-level” action against the United States.
Kim’s statement was carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. It responded to Trump’s combative speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
North Korea’s foreign minister has brushed aside US President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy his country, comparing it to a “dog’s bark”.
Trump used his maiden address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to warn Pyongyang that Washington would “totally destroy” it if the US or its allies were attacked.
Arriving in New York for the UN meetings on Wednesday, Ri Yong-ho, the North Korean foreign minister, was mobbed with questions from reporters about the Trump speech and he replied with a proverb.
“There is a saying that marching goes on even when dogs bark,” he said as he entered his hotel.
“If they are trying to shock us with the sound of a dog’s bark they are clearly having a dog dream.”
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing Washington to ramp up sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear missile programme.
The move on Thursday came two days after Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his address at the UN General Assembly that the US, if threatened, would “totally destroy” his country of 26 million people.
Announcing the executive order, Trump said the measure would allow sanctions against “individuals and companies that finance and facilitate trade” with Pyongyang.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if his country is forced to defend itself or its allies, in a highly-combative debut speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Addressing world leaders and representatives from 193 countries gathered in New York, Trump on Tuesday warned that the US would be forced to confront North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if he continued Pyongyang’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons”.
Stricter international sanctions will only lead North Korea to speed up its nuclear programme, Pyongyang said, as US and Chinese leaders agreed to “maximise the pressure” on the regime of Kim Jong-un.
“The increased moves of the US and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force,” a statement on North Korean state media said on Monday, using the acronym for the country’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The US ambassador to the UN warned North Korea would be destroyed if it continues its “reckless behaviour” and forces the United States and its allies to defend themselves against any attack.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Sunday the UN Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear programme – and the US may now turn to the Pentagon.
“We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point,” Haley told CNN’s State of the Union.
Haley added she was perfectly happy to hand the matter to Defence Secretary James Mattis.
“We’re trying every other possibility that we have, but there’s a whole lot of military options on the table,” she said.
US President Donald Trump has referred to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man” – and pictured himself taking out his former election rival Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.
Trump spoke on Saturday night with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, pledging joint “steps to strengthen deterrence and defence capabilities and to maximise economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea”, according to the White House.
Trump’s account of the conversation, which kicked off an unbridled salvo of early morning tweets on Sunday, struck a less diplomatic tone.
“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!” the president wrote to his 38 million followers. He then launched into half a dozen retweets of internet memes celebrating his Make America Great Again campaign theme.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to complete his nuclear weapons programme in the face of strengthening sanctions after he inspected a powerful new intermediate-range missile that was fired over Japan, according to state news agency KCNA.
KCNA said North Korea’s goal is reaching an “equilibrium” of military force with the United States and to “make the US rulers dare not talk about military option for the DPRK”.
Pyongyang had fired its second missile over Japan in less than a month on Friday, prompting the United States to say it has military options to deal with the North.
World leaders have condemned North Korea after it conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile, with some calling for even tougher sanctions.
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, called on the international community to band together after the projectile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean on Friday.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in ordered his military to conduct a live-fire ballistic missile drill.
The White House said US President Donald Trump had been briefed on the latest launch.
Trump wants China to do more to rein in North Korea. China, in turn, favours an international response to the problem.
Taiwan convened a national security meeting, amid fears of a deterioration in regional security after North Korea’s latest missile launch.
North Korea threatened to sink Japan and reduce the US to “ashes and darkness” for leading the latest UN Security Council sanctions imposed on the country.
North Korea has said the US will “suffer the greatest pain” over its role in bringing forth the latest sanctions on Pyongyang.
“The forthcoming measures … will make the US suffer the greatest pain it ever experienced in its history,” North Korea’s Ambassador to the UN Han Tae Song said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang also called the sanctions a “heinous provocation aimed at depriving the DPRK of its legitimate right for self-defence and completely suffocating its state and people through full-scale economic blockade,” according to a statement from the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). DPRK stands for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The statement also said that the sanctions “verify that the road [North Korea] chose to go down was absolutely right and to strengthen its resolve to follow this road at a faster pace without the slightest diversion until this right to finish is over”.
US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the latest UN sanctions on North Korea were only a very small step and nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with the country’s nuclear programme.
“We think it’s just another very small step, not a big deal,” Trump told reporters at the start of a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote, but those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen,” said Trump, who has vowed not to allow North Korea to develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States.
The country’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that South Korea will continue to strengthen cooperation with the international community to ensure that the resolutions “are thoroughly implemented”.
“North Korea should accept the strict warning from the international community that continued provocations only deepen the diplomatic isolation and economic pressure,” the ministry said.
The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea following its sixth and largest nuclear test.
With backing from China and Russia, the council voted 15-0 on Monday to slap a ban on textile exports and restrict shipments of oil products to North Korea.
The resolution is a watered-down version of the original US proposal.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has criticised US diplomacy in the crisis and renewed his call for talks, saying North Korea would not halt its missile testing programme until it felt secure.
“Russia condemns North Korea’s exercises; we consider that they are a provocation … [But] ramping up military hysteria will lead to nothing good. It could lead to a global catastrophe,” Putin said.
South Korea’s navy has conducted a live-fire exercise in waters off the country’s eastern coast as Seoul continued its displays of military capability following North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
Seoul’s defence ministry said that warships participated in drills aimed at retaliating against potential North Korean provocations.
Seoul says more naval drills are planned from Wednesday to Saturday in the country’s southern seas.
The US ambassador to the United Nations has said North Korea’s leadership is “begging for war” as she called on the body’s Security Council to impose tougher measures against the country following its most powerful nuclear test to date.
At an emergency session in New York, the second in a week, Nikki Haley said Washington will circulate a new sanctions resolution this week, with a view of voting on it next Monday.
The US envoy urged the 15-member group to adopt the strongest possible measures to deter North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The UN Security Council is holding its second emergency meeting in a week about North Korea on Monday after a powerful nuclear test explosion added another layer of urgency for diplomats wrestling with what to do about the North’s weapons programmes.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed to cooperate closely in order to exert pressure on North Korea through the United Nations.
“We agreed on close cooperation between Japan and the United States to exert maximum pressure on North Korea and the UN, including the adoption of Security Council resolutions,” Kono told reporters after a phone call with Tillerson.
South Korea’s environment ministry will announce on Monday its approval of an environmental assessment report for the deployment of a US anti-missile defence system in the country, a ministry official told Reuters news agency.
South Korea said in June that it will hold off installing remaining components of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) until it completes an assessment of the system’s impact on the environment.
The ministry will hold a briefing on the decision at 06:30 GMT on Monday, the official said.
US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned in a phone call North Korea’s “continued destabilising and provocative actions,” the White House said.
Trump also reaffirmed that Washington would defend itself and its allies “using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at [its] disposal”.
South Korea has carried out a missile drill meant to “strongly warn” North Korea over its sixth nuclear test, military officials said.
According to state news agency Yonhap, “the training came in response to the North’s sixth nuclear test … and involved the country’s Hyunmoo ballistic missile and the F-15K fighter jets”.
The military added that the target of the exercise was set considering the distance to where the North’s test site was and the drill was aimed at practicing precision strikes and cutting off reinforcements.
The drill was carried out by only the Korean military, but more are being prepared with the US forces in South Korea, a military statement said.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said any threat to the US or its allies will be met with a “massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming”.
Mattis said Washington was not looking for the “total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but … [it has] many options to do so”.
The United Nations Security Council will meet at 14:00 GMT on Monday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear test.
The meeting comes at the request of the US, Japan, Britain, France and South Korea, according to the US mission to the UN.
In a tweet on Sunday, US President Donald Trump said the US is “considering … stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea”.
Such a move could have a big impact on China, a key provider of aid and trade to the North, and which is seen as the only country holding any real influence over its truculent neighbour.
The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned North Korea’s nuclear test, saying it is “profoundly destabilising for regional security”.
He also called on the country’s leadership to cease such acts, his spokesman said in a statement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Sunday to “appropriately deal with” the latest nuclear test by North Korea, state news agency Xinhua said.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, called on North Korea in a statement to “immediately cease all existing nuclear and ballistic missile activities in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, and re-engage in dialogue with the international community”.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in vowed to push for the most powerful sanctions yet at the UN Security Council against North Korea to completely isolate it.
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, said Pyongyang’s “nuclear and missile development programmes pose a new level of a grave and immediate threat” and “seriously undermines the peace and security of the region”.
US President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss the “growing threat” posed by North Korea, which carried out two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea,” a White House readout of the call said.
It did not specify whether the two leaders spoke before or after Pyongyang claimed via its state news agency that it had developed a hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into the new missile.
North Korea has said it has developed a more advanced nuclear weapon that has “great destructive power” and can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The North’s official KCNA news agency on Sunday showed Kim Jong-un inspecting what it said was a hydrogen bomb that is to be loaded into a new ICBM.
There will be some skepticism about the claim from experts about Pyongyang’s assertion that it has mastered hydrogen technology.
US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea, the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders spoke by phone on Friday and also agreed on revising a bilateral missile treaty.
The treaty currently caps the development of South Korea’s ballistic missiles to a range of 800km and a payload weight of 500kg.
The UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over Japan as an “outrageous” threat and demanded that the country not launch any more missiles and abandon all nuclear weapons and programmes.
In a statement, the Security Council said it was of “vital importance” that North Korea take immediate, concrete actions to reduce tensions and called on all states to implement UN sanctions on North Korea.
The launch appeared to be the first to cross over Japan since 2009 and comes amid an ongoing annual military drill being carried out between the United States and its close ally in the region, South Korea.
The US Pacific Command said in a statement that two of North Korea’s missiles failed in flight after an unspecified distance, and another appeared to have exploded immediately.
It added that the missile posed no threat to the US territory of Guam, towards which North Korea had previously warned it would fire missiles.
North Korea’s military routinely responds to US-South Korean exercises.
Tuesday’s threat came as top US generals, including Harry Harris, the commander of US forces in the Pacific, visited South Korea.
US and South Korean troops have begun military drills amid heated warnings by North Korea that the exercises will worsen tensions in the region.
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, which began on Monday, are largely computer-simulated war games.
The exercise brings together as many as 50,000 South Korean soldiers and approximately 17,500 US service members for a simulation of war on the Korean Peninsula.
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises involving thousands of American and South Korean troops are to begin on Monday. North Korea views the drills as a highly provocative rehearsal for an invasion.
Moon, elected to replace impeached President Park Geun-hye, came into office in May and has since had to deal with tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has ruled out a “war again on the Korean Peninsula” and is considering sending a special envoy to North Korea for talks if Pyongyang stops its missile and nuclear tests.
Moon’s comments on Thursday, marking his 100 days in office, come amid increased tensions between the United States and North Korea following Pyongyang’s warning that it might send missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam.
“My good offices are always available – and I conveyed this message yesterday to the representatives of the six-party talks,” Guterres said on Wednesday amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula since Pyongyang conducted ballistic missile tests last month.
Kim said the US should make the right choice “in order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean Peninsula”.
The visit to the Korean People’s Army Strategic Force marks Kim’s first public appearance in about two weeks.
China has warned the United States and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threats and actions, and work towards a peaceful resolution of their dispute.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, said the two countries should work together and contain tensions.
CIA director Mike Pompeo has offered assurances there is “nothing imminent” in the US standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he would not be surprised if Pyongyang conducts another missile test.
Asked how worried people should be, Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday: “There’s nothing imminent today. But make no mistake about it. The increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat.”
A Canadian pastor who was imprisoned for more than two years in North Korea has arrived back home.
Hyeon’s release came nearly two months after US college student Otto Warmbier died shortly after he was released from North Korea in a coma.
Warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in March 2016 after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster.
Xi made the plea in a phone call hours after Trump escalated his warnings to North Korea, saying it would “truly regret” taking hostile action against the US .
China’s foreign ministry said Xi urged Trump to avoid “words and deeds” that would “exacerbate” the already tense situation, exercise restraint, and seek a political settlement.
However, it added: “If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”
US Defence Secretary James Mattis has responded to North Korea’s threat of targeting the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, saying Pyongyang’s move would lead to “the end of its regime and the destruction of its people”.
Mattis said in a statement on Wednesday that North Korea “would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates”.
“The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said, using the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Earlier on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Korean People’s Army said in a statement carried by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency that the Guam attack plan would be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” after leader Kim Jong-un made a decision.
Tomihisa Taue urged nuclear states to abandon such weapons and criticised Japan’s government for not taking part in the global efforts towards a nuclear ban.
Taue also criticised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for what he said were empty promises about working to achieve a nuclear-free world.
“North Korea had best not make any more threats to the United States,” said a stern-looking Trump, seated with his arms crossed and with his wife beside him, at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the attack plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong-un makes a decision.
In another statement, quoting a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the US showed signs of provocation.
The sanctions passed at the weekend were a “violent violation of our sovereignty”, Pyongyang said in a statement carried by its official Korean Central News Agency, adding it would take “righteous action” in return.
China, a close ally of North Korea, also voted in favour of the sanctions.
Several Asian foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, are currently gathered in the Philippine capital, Manila, for an ASEAN regional summit.
The Security Council unanimously adopted the US-led resolution, which bans mineral and seafood exports worth more than $1bn.
Japan said it was time to exert more “effective pressure” on Pyongyang rather than to pursue dialogue.
The council is expected to vote on Saturday on the measures that include a ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as seafood by the cash-starved state.