WASHINGTON (AP) - Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, isn't ruling out a US strike against North Korea if Pyongyang tests another nuclear device.
In recent weeks, the rumors and rhetoric swirling around North Korea and its nuclear capabilities have grown significantly. Speculation has grown that such a test, or another long-range missile launch, could coincide with the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the North's Korean People's Army on Tuesday.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday didn't directly confirm a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency, which cited an unnamed government source to report that the North carried out an exercise involving 300 to 400 artillery pieces in an area around Wonsan.
Last year, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests, which would have improved its knowledge in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.
Tension on the Korean Peninsula was high on the anniversary, with US and South Korean missile destroyers also due to hold a live-fire exercise in the western sea on the North Korean border.
Issuing warnings of "an all-out war, a nuclear war" with "U.S. imperialists", the paper added that the only thing that the country's "aggressors" should expect is "dead bodies". North Korea has also timed what the experts call "provocations" to coincide with South Korean elections, the JoongAng Daily reported.
The submarine's arrival comes as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heads toward the Korean Peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea around the weekend.
Donald Trump, pictured above with daughter Ivanka Trump, has summoned the entire U.S. Senate to a highly unusual briefing on North Korea.
"There is no limit to the strike power of the People's Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturised nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles", the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a front-page editorial.
A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper warned North Korea Tuesday against conducting another nuclear test, saying that would likely propel events past the "point of no return".
22 April: US Vice-President Mike Pence says the group will arrive off the Korean peninsula "within days".
"We agreed to warn North Korea to stop any additional strategic provocation and take intolerably strong punitive measures against Pyongyang if it goes ahead with such provocations", Kim Hong-kyun told reporters following his meeting with Joseph Yun of the usa and Japan's Kenji Kanasugi.
"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not".
China may be showing a greater willingness to pressure North Korea over its nuclear tests.
North Korean defectors prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets and a banner denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 25.
"The United States should not run amok and should consider carefully any catastrophic outcome from its foolish military provocative act", Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.
While the USA has dispatched what Trump called an "armada" of ships to the region, including an aircraft carrier, US officials have told the Associated Press that the administration doesn't intend to militarily respond to a North Korean nuclear or missile test.
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged "restraint" over North Korea in a phone call with Donald Trump Monday, as Japan joined exercises with an American supercarrier heading to the Korean peninsula.
Japan's Foreign Ministry also announced that China's envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, is arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi, which may take place later this week.
The USS Michigan pulled into the Busan port in South Korea on Tuesday (25 April) for what the US Navy called a "routine" visit.
The three envoys also agreed that China has a key role in pressuring North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear programs.
US envoy for North Korea Joseph Yun says he and his counterparts from Japan and South Korea agreed to coordinate "all actions" on North Korea.