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China on 'high alert' over North Korea

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China on 'high alert' over North Korea

"In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only USA imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the US mainland and reduce them to ashes", wrote the Rodong Sinmun newspaper.

North Korea's failed missile test on Sunday provides an opportunity for the United States to press for more stringent sanctions and for China to demonstrate its willingness to curb Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

China has expressed concern over developments on the North Korea nuclear issue after DPRK officials announced that they will soon conduct more nuclear missile tests.

Meanwhile, US vice president Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the resolve of America's military, promising it would make an "overwhelming and effective" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

Critics have accused Ahn of lacking principles on national security, saying he reversed his position to accept the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea.

It would also demand an immediate end to the North's nuclear and missile tests, threaten to take "further significant measures" - United Nations code for new sanctions - and state that North Korea's illegal activities "are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond".

After countless seemingly empty threats to destroy the United States and a failed missile test on Sunday, North Korea has upped the ante with the warning of a "super-mighty preemptive strike".

The two countries have long had a strained relationship, and this is far from the first time North Korea has threatened the USA with nuclear weapons.

The US military is considering shooting down the missile tests to pressure North Korea into denuclearisation, particularly if Pyongyang goes forward with a sixth nuclear test.

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Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has said he would expand America's nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the "top of the pack" amid a heated war of words between the United States and North Korea.

Another window of opportunity is coming up with the 85th anniversary of the founding of North Korea's army on Tuesday.

Speaking with reporters on his way to the Middle East, Mattis said the most recent test was not an intercontinental ballistic missile but still a reckless move.

The moves are said to be part of an effort to "reduce the time to react to a North Korea contingency".

The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe continuing large-scale USA and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

"We don't know whether or not they're able to do that, but I have absolute confidence that he will be trying very very hard". The strike group was now heading to the Western Pacific "as a prudent measure" following a "curtailed" period of training with Australia, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Commander Dave Benham said on Wednesday. They have a pretty good power, not a great power perhaps, but a pretty good power over North Korea.

"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike", he said. China is North Korea's biggest trading partner.

The statements showed that disagreements with China remained even as the Trump administration sought help from Beijing in reining in North Korea, its neighbor and ally.

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