Top US diplomat Tillerson to travel to China this week

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

The unverified Yonhap report said the U.S. appeared to have disclosed the flight route of its bombers intentionally because North Korea seemed to be unaware.

His comments came after North Korea accused the U.S. of declaring "war " and threatened to shoot down American aircraft in global airspace.

On Monday, the U.S. was forced to describe as "absurd" North Korean claims the USA had declared war on it.

North Korea has continued to carry out nuclear and ballistic missile tests in recent weeks, in defiance of successive rounds of United Nations sanctions.

"For the past couple of days, we had earnestly hoped that the war of words between North Korea and the USA would not lead to action", Ri Yong Ho said in remarks translated for NPR by journalist Jihye Lee.

In response to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's fiery words lately, Trump said: "He's acting very badly".

North Korea has reportedly been boosting its defenses along its east coast in response to US bomber flights near the rogue regime.

Ri told the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday that targeting the USA mainland with its rockets was inevitable after "Mr Evil President" Trump called Kim a "rocket man" on a suicide mission.

WASHINGTON-New U.S. sanctions will punish eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living overseas, the Trump administration announced Tuesday, in the first use of new sanctioning powers granted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

His continual references to Kim Jong-un as Little Rocket Man, and his suggestion that the leader and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho "won't be around much longer" and that the U.S. may have "no choice but to totally destroy" North Korea has been seen by the Asian country as "a clear declaration of war".

He added: "The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then".

"This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearised Korean peninsula".

The day before, United States bombers flew near North Korean coast to send a "clear message" to North Korean leader, according to Pentagon.

Mattis said the United States continued to put pressure on the North's leadership through diplomatic channels. "He's saying things that should never, ever be said", Trump said.

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced new sanctions against North Korean banks.

Describing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man" on a suicide mission, Trump used his maiden address to the UNGA last Tuesday to warn the Pyongyang regime that its current course could lead to "total destruction".

He says all nations must act now for the denuclearization of North Korea.

"I want to thank President Xi", he said.

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