US, North Korea face off in high-stakes game of chicken

USS Michigan nuclear sub heads to South Korea

An unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the US administration's policy to maximize pressure on North Korea was "little short of lighting the fuse of total war", the state news agency reported Tuesday.

In hermit country North Korea, a military occasion was marked with a massive show of strength, but a missile test, which was feared in the region did not happen. The government also states it will be impossible to determine what type of missile the rogue state has launched until it has struck, with the threat of nuclear or chemical warheads not ruled out.

There have been occasions in the past when political tensions have reached crisis point - most recently in April 2013 - but Trump's firm rhetoric on North Korea in recent weeks is unusual for a USA leader.

Washington and Seoul agreed to early deployment of the missile defence system after talks earlier this month between the South s acting president and visiting US Vice President Mike Pence.

Harris also said a USA missile defence system being deployed in South Korea to ward off any North Korean attack would be operational in coming days.

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Diaz notes that it has also been three days since North Korea detained Korean-American professor Tony Kim at Pyongyang airport.

South Korean military officials initially told media last week that the Vinson would arrive Tuesday, April 25, which would have coincided with the 85th anniversary of the North's founding of the Korean People's Army.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, has asked U.S. President Donald Trump to exercise restraint in his treatment of North Korea. "The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the global community but also our country", the Japanese leader told reporters in Tokyo afterward. Kim was quoted as saying "the whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries". "You can see in the Chinese press and in other areas that China is really making a clear effort to communicate to North Korea that its behaviour, its provocative behaviour, the nuclear tests, missile tests can't be tolerated", a senior official with the Trump administration said. A mission press statement on Wednesday said North Korea will "surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the USA imperialists".

Trump's remarks came as South Korea heads into a presidential poll on May 9 that will likely elect liberal frontrunner Moon Jae-in, who has said the next administration in Seoul should have the final say on THAAD. Trump told members of the United Nations Security Council on Monday at the White House. "The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

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