NKorea says it will speed up nuke program in response to US

FILE- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during an awards ceremony

DONALD Trump said he would "be honoured" to meet with brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un amid heightened tensions over the rogue regime's nuclear weapons program. "But I'm telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him".

"As long as America continues its hostile acts of aggression, we will never stop nuclear and missile tests", said Sok Chol Won, director of North Korea's Institute of Human Rights at the Academy of Social Sciences. Then, during the next six weeks, Pyongyang launched seven, including the spectacular four-missile display in early March that North Korean media described as simulating a nuclear strike on USA bases in Japan. "If it's under the, again, under the right circumstances".

The system's deployment to defend against a North Korean missile threat has become an issue in the South Korea's upcoming presidential election and with China, which is concerned that the system's long-range radar could track Chinese missile systems.

President Trump's National Security Advisor told Fox News Sunday today that the country will confront Kim Jong-Un.

I would much rather Trump view Kim as an intelligent foe than subscribe to the other prevailing view of him in the U.S.-that he's just, as John McCain put it, "a insane fat kid" who inherited his daddy's nukes.

Spicer disagreed and insisted that Trump was "doing everything diplomatically and economically and militarily to consider every way to prevent" the North Korean threat.

The North has carried out five nuclear tests in the last 11 years and is widely believed to be making progress toward its dream of building a missile capable of delivering a warhead to the continental United States. "I think the answer is probably not, and I don't see that happening". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called last week for the United Nations to have a stronger response to North Korea.

"I don't see much coherence in the Trump administration's statements", said Bonnie Glaser, an Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

While dispatching an aircraft carrier group and a submarine to the region, the Trump administration has emphasised the use of economic sanctions and diplomacy to persuade North Korea to curtail its nuclear program. Some foreign policy experts are concerned sanctions will not prove sufficient to deter Pyongyang from continuing its quest for nuclear weapons.

Washington is also seeking more help from China, the North's only major ally, to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) "has reached initial intercept capability", a USA official told AFP on condition of anonymity on Monday.

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