North Korea will never surrender nuclear arms, says envoy

Posted August 24, 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meanwhile, praised North Korea for "a level of restraint" in recent days.

The sanctions are part of a broader U.S. effort to disrupt the funding of North Korea's weapons programs through its export of natural resources such as coal and minerals and foreign-based financial transactions undertaken for North Korean interests.

Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies, and two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to North Korea and three Russians that work with them.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said during the inspection, army generals briefed Kim on a planned and ready missile attack on Guam, the U.K-based Express reported.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that the U.S. is open to dialogue with North Korea, a day after the regime in Pyongyang once again issued bristling threats against Washington. "And I want to take note of that; I want to acknowledge it".

That led to particularly belligerent rounds of threats from North Korea state media and President Trump, who at one point vowed "fire and fury" against North Korea and then warned that USA military weapons were "locked and loaded".

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North Korea and President Donald Trump also traded a series of bellicose statements earlier this month that raised fears an actual conflict could break out, although tensions have subsided somewhat after Kim said he was putting on hold a plan to fire missiles into the waters near Guam. -South Korea joint military drills are conducted regularly and are nothing but a simulation of the command function within USA and South Korean forces on the assumption of nuclear and missile attacks by North Korea.

The United States hopes this means North Korea is planning to restrain its "provocative acts" in the future, Tillerson said, adding: "Perhaps we are seeing our pathway to, sometime in the near future, having some dialogue". -South Korean military drills under way on the Korean peninsula.

Military tensions between the USA and North Korea increased after President Donald Trump promised "fire and fury" in response to President Kim Jong-un's threats to fire missiles at Guam, a United States possession in the western Pacific.

It is an annual affair but, this year, Pyongyang has reacted strongly and has threatened serious consequences for the American involvement in military and security drills in South Korea.

The US Treasury said its actions would "increase pressure" on North Korea, but the move has angered China.

"China has called for 'dual suspension, ' that is of North Korea's nuclear activities and joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and United States".