WILBUR ROSS: China 'sent a very powerful message to North Korea'

An escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un ratcheted up a notch on Friday as the USA president dubbed North Korea's leader a "madman", a day after the reclusive regime hinted it may explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on September 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions last week. The statement by Kim Jong Un responded to Trump's combative speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday where he mocked Kim as a "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission", and said that if "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea".

Kim said the North would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States and that Trump's comments had confirmed his own nuclear programme was "the correct path". "I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire".

South Korea called Kim Jong Un's rebuke a "reckless provocation" that would deepen his country's global isolation and lead to its demise.

Kim Jong Un in an image released by North Korea's state-run media Thursday.

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Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters.


North Korea has said it intends to build a missile capable of striking all parts of the United States with a nuclear bomb.

In related news, South Korea approved an $8 million aid package for North Korea.

The order also allows the Treasury Department to freeze the assets of companies that support North Korea's textile, fishing, IT and manufacturing industries.

Asked ahead of a lunch meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Thursday if diplomacy was still possible, Trump nodded and said: "Why not?"

South Korea and Japan's leaders expressed optimism the deals could denuclearise the peninsula.

And an exchange of threats is a game North Korea _ a nation that's overshadowed on everything non-nuclear by its rich and vibrant southern rival _ is more than willing to play.


Mr Kim characterised Mr Trump's speech to the UN General Assembly as "mentally deranged behaviour".

The remark indicated fresh openness for talks with Pyongyang, despite his insistence earlier this month that "talking is not the answer". It was in the same vein as his earlier warning to North Korea of "fire and fury like the world has never known".

North Korea's foreign minister has described as "the sound of a dog barking" President Donald Trump's threat to destroy his country.

"If (North Korea) did, it would be condemned by everyone - the Chinese and the Russians would be just as upset as the U.S.", William McKinney, a scholar at the U.S. -Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, told Bloomberg.

"We hope that there is voluntary cooperation", Mnuchin said.

"The situation surrounding the North Korean nuclear issue needs to be managed stably so that tensions will not become overly intensified or accidental military clashes will not destroy peace", said Moon, who met later jointly with Trump and Abe.


"To go from that to an atmospheric test on a missile would be a dangerously provocative step", Revere said.


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