European Union expands sanctions against North Korea as Trump meets Xi

Posted April 10, 2017

North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes will be high on the agenda when Trump and Xi meet at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida later on Thursday, with anger in Beijing simmering over the deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system in South Korea.

Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities", the White House said in a statement about the call.

An Air Force general says she is extremely confident the United States could intercept a ballistic missile fired by North Korea.

The council unanimously adopted the statement of condemnation as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Florida for his first meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The Choson Sinbo described the atmosphere at the rink as "reminiscent of the June 15 unification period", a reference to a declaration signed by South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 2000.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched at least seven missiles, tested rocket engines for a possible intercontinental ballistic missile, and threatened war while preparing for what could be another nuclear test. Lori Robinson said North Korea "can't reach our homeland" right now.

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

On Sunday, Trump held out the possibility of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation, while suggesting Washington might deal with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes on its own if need be.

The Trump administration has been hoping to convince China to step up pressure on the reclusive North Korea government to curtail its nuclear program.

The latest launch was a "grave violation" of Pyongyang's obligations under United Nations resolutions, it said.

Trump's top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, last month during a trip to the region vowed a fresh strategy to counter the North Korean nuclear threat, admitting that all previous efforts had failed.

Even before the missile test, North Korea's nuclear program was expected to be an important talking point between Xi and Trump.

China is North Korea's economic lifeline and as such enjoys more leverage over its maverick neighbour than any other country.

Pyongyang said Saturday that the strike on Syria is "unforgivable" and asserted that us moves justify its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

A USA defence official later said that the missile was an extended range Scud and had suffered an in-flight failure.