North Korea: Russia and China carry out military drills close to border

North Korea: Russia and China carry out military drills close to border

North Korea: Russia and China carry out military drills close to border

The approval for the aid to the North Korea marked the first time since the Moon Jae-in government was inaugurated in May.

The intermediate-range missile was launched on Friday near the isolated nation's capital, Pyongyang, soaring for about 3,680km before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

The news comes as United States and Chinese leaders agreed to "maximise the pressure" on the regime of Kim Jong-un.

The implementation of the aid was expected to be delayed as tensions ran high on the Korean Peninsula after the North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations.

It triggered a new UN Security Council resolution toughening sanctions on the North Korea.

The comments come after the underground test of a nuclear bomb this month and days after North Korea launched its second missile in less than a month to fly over northern Japan.

Mattis' comments came on the heels of Trump's much-anticipated inaugural speech to the U.N., in which he railed against the post-war worldwide order the United States built and launched a verbal assault on countries from North Korea to Venezuela to Iran, potentially alienating many partners and allies needed to rein in Pyongyang's weapons programs.

The idea of shooting down a missile even if it is not a direct threat is not new.

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A South Korean defense official, who provided more details on condition of anonymity, said the US aircraft flew near the tense military demarcation line that separates the countries in what he said was a rare maneuver. "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime".

"The increased moves of the USA and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force", a statement on North Korean state media said.

Asked at an off-camera briefing at the Pentagon if there are military options that would not put Seoul at "grave risk?"

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Mattis would not clarify if the options he was referring to are kinetic- meaning strikes using conventional weapons.

He did confirm that he had discussed the option of putting tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, an idea rejected by South Korea's President last week. But other non-kinetic options could include a show of force in the air or on land in the region or increasing the U.S. military presence in the area by deploying more ships or troops.

And the situation remains tense with Mattis stating: "I believe that there is always the potential for miscalculation by the DPRK leader".

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