North Korea says Syria airstrikes prove its nukes justified

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It has conducted five nuclear tests, two since the beginning of previous year, and scores of missile tests. The launches are considered to be in violation with the corresponding resolution adopted by the United Nations.

Never miss a story again - sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed! Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on CNN Saturday, reiterating his role as a chief critic of the Trump administration's strike against Syrian regime targets Thursday night.

USA aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson has been diverted to the Western Pacific instead of sailing from Singapore to Australia, the navy said, amid escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

However, successful talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier in the week may lead to diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

"This coordinated initiative could force North Korea to make real demilitarization concessions, while providing a win for both China and the United States", Markey wrote, adding that China has unsuccessfully urged the U.S. to engage North Korea directly for years.

"Then, next month when a new (South Korean) government gets under way, North Korea is expected to try to turn the situation around into a phase of appeasement and, use its moratorium of nuclear and ballistic missile tests to find middle ground with South Korea and the United States", Cheong said.

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"In the long term, USA military actions overseas won't help curb the North's nuclear pursuit", Kim said.

A White House official, who briefed reporters on Tuesday about the upcoming two-day meeting, said North Korea is "a matter of urgent interest" for Trump, and Washington feels that "the clock is very, very quickly running out". He didn't specify North Korea, but the context was clear enough.

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will", Trump told The Financial Times on April 2.

The ministry separately said Sunday that China's special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei will visit South Korea this week to discuss the North Korean nuke issue in light of the recent U.S.

"It does seem to suggest that Trump is more willing to pull the trigger than Obama", said Robert Kelly, a political science professor at South Korea's Pusan National University.

The North also is known to have a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. "On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army".

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