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North Korea vows to expand nuclear arsenal in defiance of USA warnings

USA congressmen accused China of undermining global efforts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program by funneling hard currency to North Korea, the South China Morning Post reports.In its reply, South Korea National Intelligence Agency (NIS) said the North’s request is “unpardonable” condemning it for making threats against its citizens and said the news report of a plot to kill Kim Jong Un “had no grounds”.The aftermath of the incident severely strained diplomatic relations between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang and resulted in both countries recalling their ambassadors.Last year, China shipped just over 96,000 tonnes of gasoline and nearly 45,000 tonnes of diesel worth a combined $64 million to North Korea, where it is used across the economy from fishermen and farmers to truckers and the military. The North, however, has said that the accusations against it were an attempt by the nations to smear North’s name.”I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China, but that doesn’t seem to be working out”, Trump said last week after tweeting that the Chinese campaign to pressure North Korea – however limited – “has not worked out”. Given North Korea’s increasing vulnerability and isolation, offers to ease economic sanctions or provide food aid may prove effective in encouraging nuclear disarmament.US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis also warned last month the threat from North Korea’s accelerated nuclear weapons programme was “clear and present”, but urged caution on resorting to a military strike against Pyongyang.Rep. Schiff explained the impetus of the bill back in May: “In recent years, there has been an increase in tourist travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by citizens of Western countries, including the United States”.There is a new legislation that is planned by the U.S. congress to implement a ban on travel to North Korea by United States citizens. -South Korea relationship operates on the basis of something like the North Atlantic Treaty’s collective-defense clause, Article 5: any North Korean aggression against South Korea will, it is assured, be met by the combined forces of South Korea and the U.S. Such a counterattack would be decisive, ensuring the total destruction of the North Korean regime. North Korea has denied any involvement.While Washington has urged countries to downgrade ties with Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, a cross-border ferry service was launched in May between North Korea and neighboring Russian Federation.McMaster said the new approach had made progress with a “candid recognition that China does have a great deal of control” over the North Korean regime by using its economic support as a leverage, indicating that the USA gradually pressed China to change certain positions and to do more to curb the Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. This is our final deterrent against the United States.”If the Moon administration is too eager to engage North Korea or the Trump administration is too reticent, then the partnership will sort of fall apart”, Mount said. During the Florida summit, the president refrained from unduly pressuring Beijing over bilateral trade issues, such as America’s trade deficit with China, while asking Xi to persuade within 100 days Pyongyang to irrevocably abandon its nuclear weapons program, a “grace period” Trump offered Beijing. This partly explains Xi’s conciliatory attitude towards Washington since meeting Trump in April.Analysts still believe that the country is “primed and ready” to carry out a nuclear test based on satellite images but are still not capable of enacting a full-scale nuclear attack.