US, Japan, S. Korea envoys discuss N. Korea

North Korea staged what appears to be the largest firing drill on Tuesday to mark the 85th founding anniversary of its military, a government source said.

North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying its military capability and has conducted five nuclear tests.

On Tuesday, the USA and South Korean navies conducted a joint drill in Korean waters involving a member of the Carl Vison Strike Group - the USS Wayne Meyer, which is equipped with the Aegis missile defense system to shoot down North Korean projectiles.

At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, U.S. lawmakers probed experts on the potential consequences of a pre-emptive U.S. military strike on North Korea.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping spoke on the phone on Sunday to address the continuing threat of North Korea.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday called the latest detention of the USA citizen by North Korea a display of muscle-flexing by the country's "flailing" leader Kim Jong Un.

Doing so could prompt US action with an aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, two destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser sailing for the waters off the Korean Peninsula.

"The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable and the council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs", Trump said on Monday ahead of a lunch with ambassadors from countries on the Security Council.

USA officials have told Reuters tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, banning North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks and other foreign doing business with Pyongyang.

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"The joint exercise is to show US and South Korea's strong will to retaliate and its firm defense posture against North Korea's provocative threat", it added.

China, North Korea's sole major ally, has in turn been angered by Pyongyang's belligerence, as well as its nuclear and missile programmes. Graham told Fox News he was impressed by Trump's resolve. "The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the worldwide community but also our country", the Japanese leader told reporters in Tokyo afterward.

According to Google Trends, more people on Google are now looking up for phrases like World War 3, Trump War, Nuclear War and World War 3 News. "That's where they're headed and China needs to up their game to stop this before it's too late".

However, she also said that North Korea's Kim is "trying to get the confidence of his own people", adding she believes the young leader is "very much feeling the pressure" right now.

North Korea defiantly said in a state media commentary marking the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army's that its military was prepared "to bring to closure the history of US scheming and nuclear blackmail". The Navy said that both exercises demonstrate the ability of the USA and Japan to work together at sea to respond quickly to threats in the region.

The strike group has been the focus of some controversy in recent weeks, after the Navy announced earlier this month it was being rerouted from Singapore to the "western Pacific" as a "prudent" measure amid expected North Korean provocations. It did not elaborate.

Chief nuclear negotiators from left to right, Joseph Yun, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and.

In a statement released by North Korea, the country's Foreign Ministry has accused President Trump of driving the region into an extremely risky phase.

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