Washington "never" without diplomatic solution to North Korea: Mattis

Washington

"We absolutely do not tolerate the nuclear and missile development by North Korea".

The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes in bombing drills with ally South Korea on Thursday, a clear warning after North Korea launched a midrange ballistic missile created to carry nuclear bombs over Japan earlier this week, the USA and South Korean militaries said.

In July Pyongyang carried out its first two successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), apparently bringing much of the USA mainland within range. Technically, the current setup can deal with falling debris or missiles fired at Japan, experts say, but it's not good enough for high-attitude missiles or multiple attacks.

However, the Chinese foreign ministry hit back at her comments, saying some "relevant sides" are being selective in carrying out the United Nations resolutions and those countries themselves are not doing enough ground work to stop North Korea by not pushing for a return to talks.

US President Donald Trump also said "all options" are on the table regarding North Korea, ratcheting up his war of words against the Asian nation.

After two days of talks on trade and security with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister steered clear of hard politics in the final hours of the trip.

North Korea has made it clear that it sees its weapons program, which demands regular testing to ideal, as the only way to contest decades of US hostility, by which it means the huge USA military presence in South Korea, Japan and the Pacific.

May pointed to the key role that China, the North's chief ally, can play in pushing for change.

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Senior Tory MP Nigel Evans, who was scathing in his criticism of the Tory campaign after Mrs May's election gamble backfired, insisted that the Prime Minister's vow to continue was "great news".

It came when US-South Korea troops held annual military exercises on the peninsula, which Pyongyang strongly opposes.

History reveals that USA has been at war with North since the 1950-53 conflict that ended up in a truce rather than peace treaty.

"They [North Korea] have conducted two launches of ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles]".

When asked by reporters just hours later if the United States was out of diplomatic solutions with North Korea amid rising tensions after a series of missile tests by Pyongyang, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis replied: "No". It also flight-tested a pair of developmental ICBMs in July.

It made a specific reference to USA forces being based in Hokkaido - the island that the North's missile flew over.

"My discussions with Prime Minister Abe will focus on how we can prepare the ground for an ambitious free trade agreement after Brexit, based on the EU-Japan agreement which I very much hope is nearing conclusion", May said in a statement ahead of her departure. "North Korea will launch ICBMs again and the range will include nearly the entire region of Europe".

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