China places its bomber aircraft on heightened alert

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They came hours after state media in Pyongyang warned that a pre-emptive strike by North Korea would result in the USA and South Korea being "completely destroyed in an instant".

The warning came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was looking for "ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang".

Nevertheless, the USA reportedly directed two additional aircraft carrier groups toward the Korean Peninsula this week. "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve - or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region".

According to reports, a full orchestra played alongside the video, which depicted missiles soaring over the Pacific and engulfing a city on the USA west coast.

"It's a situation with concerns that North Korea could venture into a provocation anytime once again", he said during a cabinet meeting.

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

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on April 20 strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile test and threatened to impose new sanctions against Pyongyang for its "highly destabilizing behavior".

North Korea last Saturday tried and failed to launch a missile from its submarine base at Sinpo off its eastern coast, the latest in a series of missile tests that violate United Nations sanctions against the North.

Diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity appeared surprised that Russian Federation would block condemnation that China, Pyongyang's ally, had been willing to support.

The attempt of the missile test was made amid the celebration of the anniversary of birth of North Korea's founding leader Kim Il-sung.

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US President Donald Trump has been pressing China to rein in North Korea, suggesting that doing so could ease US-China relations over trade and other issues.

A previous Security Council statement, released two days after Pyongyang's April 4 missile test launch, noted the commitment of council members to "a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation and welcomed efforts by council members, as well as other states, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue". Trump, who took office in January, has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile.

"As I said here yesterday, none of the major parties in the peninsula's nuclear issue want to see conflict and war, and an overwhelming majority of the members of the global community want peace", the spokesman said.

US officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang. It was now heading for the Western Pacific as ordered, it said.

The decision to divert the strike group Carl Vinson to waters near the Korean peninsula was intended as a show of force, a US official told Reuters afterwards.

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Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday in Japan, aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, that "we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

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