Donald Trump to hold classified briefing on North Korea

While the administration said military strikes remained an option, the return to sanctions given the risks of massive North Korean retaliation basically represents a continuation of the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration, which failed to slow Pyongyang down.

Meanwhile, US commercial satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site, while the country said that the country's preparation for and ICBM launch is in its "final stage", Fox News reported. Although such an explosion hasn't yet occurred, Trump has sent high-powered USA military vessels and an aircraft carrier to the region in a show of force, while the North conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills, witnessed by national leader Kim Jong Un, earlier this week.

The U.S. has moved an anti-missile defense system into place 150 miles south of Seoul in South Korea.

North Korea has threatened the USA with "all-out war" and announced that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles on a weekly basis.

Seoul held a large annual drill of its own, involving some 100 artillery pieces, 90 armored vehicles and 50 aircraft, as well as 2,000 South Korean and U.S. troops, the defense ministry said.

While the saber-rattlers keep up their pretenses and rhetoric, Beijing has taken a more diplomatic approach to North Korea, with a tone that warns strongly against violence in the region.

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The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system (THAAD) is capable of shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of their flight, using kinetic energy to destroy the incoming warhead. "People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it's time to solve the problem". China will take "necessary measures to defend our own interests", he promised.

"It s important to have economic, diplomatic pressure, but you have to have a credible military deterrent in order to achieve the results", he said.

On Tuesday, North Korea conducted what it called its largest ever combined live-fire drills, near the east coast port city of Wonsan.

However, Kim Jong Un's government has remained defiant.

In a separate meeting with U.N. Security Council Ambassadors Monday, President Trump said "The status quo in North Korea is... unacceptable".

China's call came in a phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump on Sunday.

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A few hours after the special White House briefing on America's policy toward the North Korean aggression, numerous senators are wondering why they were called to the White House for the unusual event.

Washington has become increasingly concerned at North Korean missile and nuclear tests and threats to its neighbours and the US.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said if Trump has a "red line", he needs to make that clear. A nuclear-powered OH class submarine, the USS Michigan, pulled into the South Korean port of Busan for a "routine" hull check.

Tillerson, Mattis, and Coats said the reaching out to "responsible members of the global community to increase pressure on the DPRK in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue".

North Korea routinely accuses the United States of readying for an invasion, and threatens pre-emptive strikes to stop it.

Earlier on Wednesday, Admiral Harry Harris, who heads the Pacific Command, said the USA wants to bring North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to "his senses" and welcomed efforts by China to defuse tensions.

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