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North Korea says Syria airstrikes prove its nukes justified

10 April 2017

The rapid advancement of the North Korean nuclear program has put the USA under increasing pressure in recent months.

During the conversation, Trump briefed Abe on his just-concluded meeting with Xi.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause in their walk after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla.

US aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson has been diverted to the Western Pacific instead of sailing from Singapore to Australia, the navy said, amid escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. "I think that in North Korea, it's an enormous unknown".

Rather than continue its tough talk on North Korea, Markey told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday that Trump should ask Xi "to tighten the screws" with economic sanctions.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States wants to work with China on the North Korean nuclear issue, but hinted at the possibility that Washington would unilaterally strengthen pressure on Pyongyang if Beijing does not cooperate in reining in its unpredictable neighbor.

"The clock has now run out and all options are on the table", an official told CNN on Tuesday, pointing to the failure of successive administrations' efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea's nuclear program.

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North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday. However, the U.S.is prepared to make a move if necessary.

Tensions have been even higher than usual over the past few weeks because annual war games between the US and South Korean militaries are underway.

The Korean Peninsula remains technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with an armistice, not a formal peace treaty.

However, China has for a long time insisted that the crux of the North Korean nuclear issue is a problem between Washington and Pyongyang.

Doing so - even with a one-off sort of airstrike - would be a far more risky move. The North called the US action in Syria "absolutely unpardonable" and said it proves that its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington's "evermore reckless moves for a war".

From past year, North Korea took the rare step of publicising images of its missile equipment tests, convincing analysts that Pyongyang's banned programme was further along toward successfully testing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) than first thought. China's response to the airstrikes was muted.

North Korea says Syria airstrikes prove its nukes justified