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Like Trump, China Has No Good North Korea Options: QuickTake Q&A

21 April 2017

"But she was on her way up to Korea", said US Defense Secretary, James Mattis.

"We didn't block the statement".

Kim Jong-un defied the worldwide community in 2016 with North Korea's fourth and fifth nuclear tests in a decade then began 2017 by claiming his nation was in the "last stage" of preparations to test-fire an inter-continental ballistic missile.

Responding to tough talk from the United States administration of Donald Trump, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un promised on Thursday to "reduce" the United States, as well as South Korea, "to ashes" in what an official North Korea government news outlet described as a "super mighty pre-emptive strike" against the two countries.

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North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol ratcheted up the rhetoric in an interview with the BBC.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a press briefing that Beijing was firmly opposed to any words or actions that could further provoke tensions.

The incorrect statement of fact has now become an issue in South Korea' presidential race, according to Bloomberg, and foreign diplomats are trying to clarify how and why Trump made that claim.

North Korea put on a musical show to mark the birthday of founding father Kim Il Sung, which ended with a mock-up video of missiles engulfing the United States in flames, prompting cheers from the audience and smiles from current leader Kim Jong Un.

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Kim on Monday warned that a nuclear war "may break out at any moment", while Haley on Tuesday emphasised that Washington is not looking for a fight "so don't try and give us one".

The Trump administration has signalled a forceful USA stance on North Korea's recent actions, dispatching Pence to the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea on Monday in a show of American resolve.

The Pentagon has also dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group to the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency called the carrier's deployment "nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region".

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The language on North Korea's nuclear program was more straightforward. For its part, China fears a collapse of the government might prompt an influx of millions of refugees and - in the event of South Korea absorbing its neighbour- create a well-armed United States ally straddling its border.