Guns, gold and gas. What UN sanctions target North Korea?

REUTERS  KCNA

North Korea is believed to have at least 10 nuclear weapons and an equally large stockpile of chemical arsenal.

"We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable".

Kim Jong Un appeared at the militaristic celebration, waving and smiling at his troops. Japan is weighing a retaliatory strike capability against the North.

Trump has said he's willing to make trade and economic concessions to China in return for its help with North Korea.

In response to these developments, North Korean government officials reportedly gave a statement to CNN, saying "We will make the United States fully accountable for the catastrophic consequences that may be brought about by its high-handed and outrageous acts".

South Korea on Wednesday dismissed the controversial remark reportedly made by U.S. President Donald Trump that Korea was "part of China" as untrue and not worthy of response.

If such persuasion falls short, Trump has suggested he might use more coercive methods. So-called secondary sanctions on Chinese banks that do business with North Korea could also be in the offing, officials have said. We've said it as clearly as we can possibly say it. "Whether that works or not, it's a very different strategy from the last three presidents".

While a strike by the United States could potentially reduce North Korea's nuclear and conventional capabilities, Institute for Science and International Security President David Albright told USA Today that North Korea would nearly certainly be able to launch an attack that would "flatten" Seoul before the us could stop it.

On the other hand, if there is a military clash between the United States and North Korea, Japan could be subject to retaliation.

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The test firings and provocations by the North Korean regime have, not surprisingly, been accompanied by aggressive and threatening rhetoric from leader Kim Jong-un. Donald Trump is another story, judging by widespread concern posted on Twitter. EGYPT Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is optimistic about improving military ties with Egypt after talks in Cairo with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, following a period of strain under the Obama administration.

"North Korea is going to overshadow his first two stops; he will be wanting to explain to both our allies the perimeters of the recently completed trump policy on North Korea".

TURKEY Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he will meet his USA counterpart in Washington on May 16-17, in their first meeting since Trump took office in January.

The U.S. and South Korea are now holding the Max Thunder air combat drill created to improve allied readiness for a serious escalation of tensions on the peninsula. But as the US has ramped up its own strong language against North Korea, the so-called "hermit kingdom" has responded with a series of its own threatening statements - as well as with two missile tests.

"Trump seems capable of doing anything, and he might choose to strike the North before it's technologically able to strike back", said Ray Kim, a 39-year-old Seoul resident.

Trump is clearly on the mind of the North Korean leadership. Some analysts warn that a collapsing North Korea with nuclear weapons would be more unsafe than a stable North Korea developing a nuclear arsenal.

"It is worthless to respond to this kind of story", he added.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

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