North Korean Nuclear Showdown

North Korea's vice-foreign minister told the BBC Pyongyang would continue to test missiles and would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it thought the United States was planning an attack.

Russian Federation has derailed a proposed UN Security Council statement that would have condemned North Korea's latest missile launch test, using its veto to torpedo the motion.

The possibility of a preemptive strike against North Korea for now seems to be an unlikely scenario as National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on ABC news said it is time to undertake all actions "short of a military option". "Allowing this dictator to have that kind of power is not something that civilized nations can allow to happen", Ryan said.

South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn called on the military and security agencies to maintain vigilance.

"The USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group, which includes Aegis-equipped destroyers, is headed for the Korean peninsula", the report noted.

South Korean presidential candidates clashed on Wednesday night in a TV debate over the planned US-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which has angered China.

"The members of the Security Council demanded that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall immediately cease further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions", the statement reads.

For the past quarter century, the United States and South Korea have tried to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations.

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China says it is seriously concerned about North Korean nuclear development, in the wake of a BBC interview with a top official from the North.

He said the United States wanted peace and he hoped North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un wanted the same, adding that would be "the end determination".

The North has said such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the USA or South Korea.

When asked by CBS News if she considers ballistic missile tests to be a provocation, Haley said Wednesday the USA evaluates North Korean action based on whether the country "violates Security Council resolutions, so they definitely have done that".

The US is looking for ways to pressure North Korea into denuclearisation.

China has been slow to support statements condemning North Korea in the past, but signed off on the message Wednesday.

North Korea has also made such threats before as well but now China's patience with their one-time ally in Pyongyang is "wearing thin" and escalating the situation, according to TJ Pempel, a political science professor at the University of California-Berkeley. "More is unknown than known about the country".

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