North Korea Accuses US Of Simulating Surprise Nuclear Strike

Trump extending Asia trip to include key summit

Today Beijing reacted furiously to U.S. sanctions against a Chinese bank accused of helping finance North Korea's nuclear programme.

"The focus now is on how can we put pressure on North Korea to induce them to engage in real constructive talks", he said.

North Korea claimed in September that it had carried out a successful test of a hydrogen bomb, which the country plans to mount on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the capability of reaching the US mainland.

South Korea's spy agency predicts another ballistic missile launch in the North after detecting "brisk activity" at one of Kim's research plants.

The highly versatile, supersonic B-1 is considered the backbone of the U.S. long range bomber fleet and carries the largest conventional payload of any aircraft in the U.S. Air Force.

"We have to remember that tens of millions of South Korean population are living 70 to 80 kilometers away from this military demarcation line", said Mr. Thae. "Yun is precisely that person (to talk to North Korea), but Trump is killing the whole process". The CIA declined comment.

Minister of State John Halligan is waiting for a reply from the North Korean embassy in London after he sought permission for a parliamentary visit to the reclusive state. Thae later added that young North Koreans use portable SD memory cards to carry information, known as "nose cards", that are compact enough to place in their nostrils if they are searched.

State and Defense Department officials have said that "peaceful pressure" on North Korea is preferable.

When contacted by the BBC, the Department of the Taoiseach said it was a matter for Mr Halligan.

"The President recognises that we're running out of time and will ask all nations to do more", White House national security adviser HR McMaster said at a briefing in Washington ahead of Mr Trump's trip. Another official pointed out, however, that Trump, who in May said he would be honored to meet Kim, had not hurled any fresh insults at Kim in recent days, raising hopes for an altered approach. If China were to open its borders and allow defectors to pass through to South Korea, he said, the North Korean system "would collapse in a very short span of time".

The Trump administration has said it is considering a pre-empty military strike as one of its options as it seeks to deter Kim Jong-un - dubbed "Rocket Man" by Trump - from creating a nuclear missile capable of striking the United States or its key ally in Asia, Japan. They have called for the implementation of the so-called "double-freeze" initiative, which envisages North Korea suspending its nuclear and missile program in exchange for the US and South Korea abandoning military exercises in the region. Robert Gallucci, who was chief US negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994 and has had recent contact with Yun, said the envoy is "realistic about the challenges of negotiating in the current atmosphere, including the tone set by the president, but he believes in the mission even as his approach is guided by realism".

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