Trump, Xi converge on currency, Syria as US-China ties warm

Trump, Xi converge on currency, Syria as US-China ties warm

President Donald Trump, fresh from a missile strike on Syria that was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea, has asked his advisers for a range of options to rein in its ambitions, a top USA official said on Sunday.

McMaster described the USA decision to send the Carl Vinson Strike Group to safeguard US interests in the Western Pacific as "prudent".

North Korea has repeatedly said that it plans to test an intercontinental ballistic missile or conduct another underground nuclear test. Trump has also called on China, North Korea's strongest ally, to take stronger action to curb those nuclear ambitions. "And so the whole reasons underlying the development of a nuclear program in North Korea are simply not credible", he said.

Some possible options Washington may be considering are tougher unilateral sanctions as well as secondary sanctions that would penalize a third country that does illegal business with North Korea, the redeployment of USA tactical nuclear assets to Korea and even a pre-emptive strike.

Hwang stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the two allies at a time when there is a high likelihood of fresh provocations by the North.

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Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, directed the Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Carl Vinson and its accompanying ships, including two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser, to sail north to the Western Pacific from Singapore on Saturday, instead of heading for Australia as originally scheduled.

Pyongyang has repeatedly defied global warnings about conducting missile launches and testing nuclear devices.

"We have been very clear that our objective is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula". The hermit state has launched several missile tests this year and most recently took issue with the USA missile strike on an airbase in Syria last Friday.

At closer range, Japan has been rattled by North Korea's repeated recent test-firings of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in its direction, the latest just two days before Trump met with Xi.

Pyongyang tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile this month.

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Earlier this month, Trump suggested the USA might take action unilaterally if China wasn't willing to do more.

On Sunday, the White House announced that Trump had spoken by phone with Abe about Syria and "a range of regional issues, including the threat posed by North Korea".

He added he explained that the THAAD deployment is purely defensive and aimed at containing North Korean missile attacks.

"If you violate worldwide agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken", he said.

President Donald Trump listens as Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, now the president's national security adviser, talks at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla, Feb. 20, 2017.

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"This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime", he said on "Fox News Sunday".

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