Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Trump summons entire US Senate to White House over North Korea

Tracy Craig | 28 April, 2017, 01:51

The senators will be briefed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Such rare private briefings of the whole Senate by four Cabinet officials are normally held in a secure auditorium on Capitol Hill, not at the White House.

Top Donald Trump administration officials will hold the meeting, which indicates growing concern over the deteriorating relations between the United States and east Asian country. RUSSIA Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn likely broke the law by failing to get permission to be paid for a trip to Russia in 2015, the leaders of the House of Representatives oversight panel say.

In Pyongyang s latest display of its military capabilities, Kim oversaw the country s largest-ever firing drill to mark the founding anniversary of its military, state-run media said Wednesday. And I think we hope to see a change in behavior.

The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. South Korean Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn meantime ordered the military to strengthen its "immediate response posture" to prepare for a North Korean threat today.

Trump's administration has adopted a "constructive" approach to NAFTA behind the scenes, despite headlines to the contrary, the head of the biggest US business lobby says in a speech in Mexico City.

United States troops in South Korea began on Wednesday deploying a contentious anti-missile system in South Korea that has infuriated China.

The United States pledged Wednesday to step up sanctions to force North Korea to resume dialogue over its nuclear programme, but said it was not looking to bring Kim Jong-Un s regime to its knees.

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The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, together with two guided-missile destroyers and a cruiser, are expected to arrive in the waters off the Korean Peninsula in the next few days and stage a combined tactical operation with the South Korean Navy.

Hours before Wednesday's briefings, the top US commander in the Pacific, Admiral Harry Harris, testified in Congress that the United States may need to strengthen its missile defenses given the North Korean threat.

The unprecedented meeting in a building adjacent to the White House reflected the increased American alarm over North Korea's progress in developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the US mainland.

Trump has made China central to his strategy in dealing with North Korea, but Xi's admonition reflected the tensions blanketing the region.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who along with Sen.

"North Korea is a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve", the president added.

Trump, who called the leaders of China and Japan during the weekend, told U.N. Security Council ambassadors on Monday that "the status quo" is not acceptable, and said the council must be ready to impose new sanctions.

Lawmakers, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, also have said the early months of his presidency have been marked by a lack of communication with congress, partly because the administration has been slow to fill key posts and partly because Trump has been slow to develop policy positions.

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