US Senate to get top-level briefing on North Korea

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 25, 2017

All that was publicly scheduled for the day were gatherings for mass dancing, a common celebration on major North Korean holidays.

The move also comes as the US and South Korea are keeping a close watch on the possibility of Pyongyang conducting a nuclear test or a ballistic missile launch on Tuesday on the occasion of the North Korean army's anniversary.

"Signs are detected that North Korea's military is conducting a large-scale drill around the eastern port city of Wonsan on the anniversary", the source said.

Haley said the action was an attempt by Kim Jong-Un's regime to use the American as a bargaining chip amid heightened worldwide tensions over its nuclear and missile programs.

The latest American held in North Korea is Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk.

North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a USA submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North's nuclear and missile programmes. It was not known how he was marking Tuesday's anniversary.

Washington and its Asian allies fear North Korea could be preparing to conduct another nuclear missile test soon in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

"President Trump criticized North Korea's continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang's actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula", the White House said.

The nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan at Busan in South Korea on April 25. The drill has involved Army, Navy and Air Force.

When asked about the USS Michigan, Lieutenant commander Matt Knight with U.S. Pacific Fleet told Fox News in a statement the submarine was on "routine deployment".

North Korea could reduce a US strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

On Monday, North Korea issued new threats against the USA, which it accuses of plotting an invasion. The meetings are "as risky as lighting the fuse of an all-out war", the official Korean Central News Agency reported, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.

US Vice President Mike Pence is heading back to Washington after visits to Asia and Australia, with North Korea headlining talks.

Trump spoke by phone with both the Japanese and Chinese leaders Monday.

"China adamantly opposes any actions in contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolutions", Xi said, according to the report, evidently referring to a series of decisions by the council to punish North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs.

In an earlier phone conversation with Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all sides to exercise restraint, as Japan conducted exercises with a United States aircraft carrier strike group headed for Korean waters.

On Wednesday, the entire U.S. Senate will make their way to the White House to be briefed about North Korea, according to The Guardian.

Envoys on the North Korean nuclear issue from the United States, South Korea and Japan are due to meet in Tokyo on Tuesday. It has previously marked similar occasions with missile tests.

Amid the heightened tensions, North Korea detained a third USA citizen in Pyongyang on Saturday, the Swedish Embassy confirmed to NBC News. "North Korea is a big world problem".

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