South Korea Tells Trump It's Actually Never Been a Part of China

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North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and, amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, it has escalated a war of words warning of full-out nuclear war if Washington takes military action against it.

"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?" tweeted President Donald Trump on Easter Sunday.

And the first wartime use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the USA arsenal to destroy a complex of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State militants in Afghanistan reinforced that signal.

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence said.

The discussions on the text follow bold statements made this week by both US Ambassador Nikki Haley and North Korea's Deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong.

That has driven North Korea to issue its own threats and begin preparations for "even a 1 percent chance that the USA will launch pre-emptive strikes", Lim said.

However, a senior Japanese Defense Ministry official said, "North Korea considers nuclear development to be a means of deterring USA attacks".

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The US militarily is reportedly considering shooting the North's test missiles out of the sky in an effort to diffuse tension, but some feel this would only lead to escalation.

Mattis did not identify the type of missile but said it was not of intercontinental range, meaning it could not reach US territory.

On April 5, it fired another missile, although analysts have suggested the launch was a failure.

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence matter, said the missile was a Scud variant that the US calls a KN-17.

Abe, right, and Pence shake hands at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, on April 18, 2017.

Experts point out that China also wants to prevent North Korea from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power - and certainly wants to prevent a war on its southern border that could send millions of refugees flooding into China and potentially risk bringing a United States military presence to China's borders.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to preside over a Security Council meeting next week on North Korea. But it remains unclear what might come next.

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The exercise, possibly warning against a North Korean military provocation, was reported to have lasted several days and comes as Beijing has called for North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions under renewed pressure from the Trump administration.

Within China, there is talk about playing a key card to pressure North Korea - cutting off oil supplies to the Kim Jong-un regime.

A continuing crisis on the peninsula, however, with Trump and the US relying on Beijing's help, could leave Xi in the catbird seat. Council members can also "recommit to implementing all existing and future sanctions to maximize pressure on the DPRK to return to meaningful negotiations on denuclearization", the paper says.

"It's a clear fact acknowledged by the global community that, for thousands of years in history, Korea has never been part of China", foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a briefing in Seoul on Thursday.

And the United States appears to be on a collision course with the Hermit Kingdom, vowing to launch retaliatory action if North Korea fires another missile. Four missile systems were shown for the first time, revealing two which were completely new.

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