Experts predict colossal human losses from North Korean nuclear attack

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North Korea's official news daily, Rodong Sinmun report said, "In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only United States imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the USA mainland and reduce them to ashes".

Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea and the US.

Tensions have risen sharply in recent months after North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests past year and carried out a steady stream of ballistic missile tests.

The ship's reported movements led North Korea to threaten a preemptive strike against the US if the Trump administration makes a "reckless" military decision.

Vice President Mike Pence issued a fresh warning to North Korea from the deck of a USA aircraft carrier in Japan, hours after reports emerged that the approaching "armada" Donald Trump touted last week was still thousands of miles away.

Pence told reporters near the Demilitarized Zone on Monday that Trump was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure the North to abandon its weapons program, a day after the North's failed missile test launch.

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The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing us officials.

In a statement on Wednesday, Russia said that the proposed text did not contain the words "through dialogue" for the solution to problems on the Korean Peninsula, which were seen in past Security Council press statements denouncing North Korea's missile launches.

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

There has been speculation that North Korea has notified China of its plans to test another nuclear device.

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in a previous statement stressing the need to achieve a solution through dialogue, according to council diplomats. The U.S. has invited foreign ministers from the 14 other council nations and many are expected to attend.

They also emphasized "the vital importance" of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization".

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The North has said such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the United States or South Korea.

Asked about Trump's comment about Xi trying hard, Lu said Xi and Trump had had a full and deep discussion about North Korea when they met this month.

Pyongyang periodically warns Washington of the dire consequences of taking on North Korea militarily.

"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", Han said.

South Korea's Air Force Operations Command and the U.S. Forces Korea's Seventh Air Force have been staging a massive joint exercise dubbed Max Thunder since April 14, an Air Force spokesman here said.

Security Council resolutions bar North Korea from any activities related to development of nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles.

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Johnson had been due to hold talks with Sergey Lavrov, his counterpart as Russian foreign minister, after flying out on Sunday. Donald Trump spoke by telephone with Saudi Arabia's King Salman about the strikes, the Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday.

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