Trump's North Korea threat leaves Asia struggling to explain

Brutal public executions and teenage sex slaves: A defector's account of Kim Jong Un's North Korea

The North has repeatedly defied the United Nations to conduct nuclear and missile tests, the latest being a mid-range missile fired over Japan on Friday, soon after the reclusive nation's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. China might support a program with a verifiable freeze of North Korea's missile program if it means "no regime change and no war", she said.

The move comes just days after Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend the USA or its allies.

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called Trump's comments "the sound of a dog barking".

The mission consisted of two bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, four Marine F-35B from a U.S. base in Iwakuni, Japan, four Korean fighters and four Japanese fighters, according to a press release by U.S. Pacific Command.

The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers called for a peaceful end to the "vicious cycle" on the Korean peninsula as they met in NY for the UN General Assembly, Beijing said on Tuesday.

"We view the speech as portraying a firm and specific stance on the key issues regarding keeping peace and safety that the worldwide community and the United Nations are faced with", the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement on Wednesday.

A USA official said that Trump would later Thursday make an announcement of further sanctions on North Korea.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a news conference there "some indications" that sanctions were beginning to cause fuel shortages in North Korea.

The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, fired from Pyongyang, overflew the territory of northern Japan and landed in waters east of the nation. A warning that Washington would shoot down North Korea's next missile test?

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He said the order enhanced the U.S. Treasury Department's authority to target those that conduct "significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea".

The Defense Ministry says North Korea appears to be close to the final stage of securing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability.

The issue of North Korea's weapons programme is expected to dominate US President Donald Trump's address at the UN General Assembly and his meetings with the leaders of South Korea and Japan.

Military analysts believe that if the United States made a pre-emptive strike on the North Korea, first of all first strike would be unlikely to eliminate all of North Korea's conventional and nuclear weapons including chemical or biological ones.

"And the bottom line is that, when the missiles - were they to be a threat, whether it be to USA territory, Guam, obviously Japan's territory - that would elicit a different response from us".

In October, the USA aircraft carrier strike group, led by a nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan, will be dispatched to the peninsula to stage a joint naval exercise with South Korean forces, the Defence Ministry said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the US has not yet shot down any North Korean missiles because they have not posed a threat to the United States or its allies.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Sunday that talking to North Korea is not an option, calling instead for increased pressure and worldwide solidarity against the country.

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