North Korea

North Korea says sanctions will accelerate nuclear programme

In a strongly worded statement, Pyongyang called a new set of UN sanctions "the most vicious, unethical and inhumane act of hostility".

Meanwhile, the presidents of the US and China committed to "maximising pressure" on the North through vigorous enforcement of UN resolutions.

Earlier, the US and South Korea carried out joint military exercises.

North Korea fired its latest missile over Japan on Friday. It travelled 3,700km (2,299 miles), putting the US Pacific territory of Guam, which North Korea says it has a plan to target, within reach.

No new sanctions over latest North Korea missile test

After meeting in an emergency session, the United States, China, and Russia were united in their opposition to North Korea for firing a missilie over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In a joint statement, members of the council appealed for North Korea to take part in a peace process and reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula.

There was no mention in the UN statement of further sanctions.

Last week, the Security Council agreed on fresh economic sanctions, which the US estimates will cut trade with North Korea by 90 per cent.

North Korea slapped with new UN sanctions

The council voted 15-0 to back the US-drafted sanctions resolution banning exports of coal, lead and seafood.

Pyongyang has claimed to have developed a hydrogen bomb and has continuously threatened to strike the US.

North Korea is already under UN sanctions to force the leadership to curtail its weapons programmes.

The new sanctions were agreed on Monday after the US removed some of the tougher proposals it had announced last week, including a complete oil embargo and measures to freeze the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea 'has missile-ready nuclear weapon'

The state news agency released pictures of leader Kim Jong-un inspecting what it said was a new hydrogen bomb.

There has been no independent verification of the claims.

International experts say the North has made advances in its nuclear weapons capabilities but it is unclear if it has successfully miniaturised a nuclear weapon it can load on to a missile.

State news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un had visited scientists at the nuclear weapons institute and "guided the work for nuclear weaponisation".

China tells US and North Korea to cool it

Speaking with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday in a phone conversation, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said peacefully solving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is in the interest of all relevant parties, including China and Russia.

Wang also agreed to coordinate closely on the nuclear issue, strengthening the countries' strategic communication, working together to manage and control the situation in order to prevent an "August crisis," according to statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

North Korea leader 'briefed' on Guam missile plan

But the report said he would watch US actions before making a decision on "the enveloping fire at Guam".

Last week, North Korea warned that a plan was being drawn up to fire four missiles into the sea off Guam, where US bombers are based.

There has been a sharp escalation in rhetoric between the US and the North.

 

What does North Korea's statement really mean?

The report on state news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un "examined the plan for a long time" and discussed it with senior military officials.

Guam, Japan prepare for possible North Korea missile launch

In a statement last week, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, said the plan to fire "four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets ... to signal a crucial warning to the US" would be ready by "mid-August."

Recent days have seen a significant escalation of tensions in the region as preparations are put in place for a possible launch in Guam, Japan and South Korea.

A notice put out by Guam's Joint Information Center Saturday warned residents how to prepare "for an imminent missile threat."

Guam issues nuclear emergency guidelines

This week Pyongyang's state-run news agency said its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam, a US territory and military base, amid increasingly heated rhetoric over the North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Guam's governor Eddie Calvo said there was no heightened threat but the government had issued a preparedness fact sheet, which covered what to do before, during and after a nuclear attack.

North Korea plans to strike 30 km from Guam

State media said the plan would then be presented to the leader Kim Jong Un who will make a decision on whether to proceed.

The report cited a commander in the Korean People's Army who said the Hwasong-12 rockets will cross the skies of Japan and hit the sea 30 to 40 kilometres from Guam

"The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA (Korean People's Army) will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan," the report said, citing General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the KPA.

Trump criticises China over North Korea

Writing on Twitter, he said he would not allow China to "do nothing" about the reclusive state.

His comments came a day after Pyongyang test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a month.

It later claimed the test proved that the entire US was within striking range of its weaponry.

On Saturday, two US B-1 bombers conducted exercises over the Korean peninsula with South Korean and Japanese planes.