Trump, Abe discuss exerting pressure on North Korea

Trump, Abe discuss exerting pressure on North Korea

It came hours after Pyongyang said it had miniaturised a hydrogen bomb for use on a long-range missile, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was pictured with what state media said was a new type of hydrogen bomb.

President Trump responded on Twitter, commenting on North Korea's continuing "hostile and dangerous" actions toward the USA and how he considers them a "great threat and embarrassment to China".

President Donald Trump has reacted to what he's calling "a major Nuclear Test" by North Korea - branding the North "a rogue nation" whose "words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous" to the United States.

North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions, "recently succeeded" in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb that will be loaded on to an ICBM, KCNA said.

The "artificial quake" was 9.8 times more powerful than the tremor from the North's fifth test, the state weather agency said.

"I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us", Mnuchin said.

North Korea's fourth test was in January 2016 when it claimed to have used a hydrogen bomb.

The photos released earlier Sunday showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that the state-run media said was a thermonuclear weapon created to be mounted on the North's "Hwasong-14" ICBM.

Before North Korea watchers had a chance to digest that photo dump, the seismographs started recording a big tremor at about 12:30 p.m.

- Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is hosting an global financial summit, said in an opening ceremony speech that "incessant conflicts in some parts of the world and hotspot issues are posing challenges to world peace", according to a transcript published by Chinese state media.

It is bound to increase the tension hours after United States President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked by phone about the "escalating" nuclear crisis.

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However, a noticeable divide has emerged between Washington and Seoul when it comes to how exactly the world should respond to North Korea's latest move.

"They want all parties to calm down, but it's clear the North is not interested in that, and it's not entirely [certain] if the U.S. is interested in calming the situation either".

"The Trump administration has clearly prioritized North Korea".

A key question is how far North Korea has gotten in efforts to consistently shrink down nuclear warheads so they can fit on long-range missiles.

Pyongyang's favourite newsreader - a woman in her 70s - returned to the airwaves Sunday to declare its proud possession of a hydrogen bomb. North Korea has proven itself adept at masking other telltale signs, such as the leakage of radioactive materials.

There was no independent confirmation that the detonation was a hydrogen bomb rather than a less powerful atomic weapon of the kind Pyongyang has tested in the past.

After North Korea last week fired a missile over Japan, another US ally, Trump tweeted: "The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years".

In a pair of tweets issued Sunday morning, Trump wrote: "North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test".

"President Trump and President Moon pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and to make all necessary preparations to deter and defend against the growing threat posed by North Korea", read a White House statement.

Whatever the final figure for test's yield turned out to be, said Jeffrey Lewis of the armscontrolwonk website, it was "a staged thermonuclear weapon" which represents a significant advance in its weapons program.

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