White House to host private briefing on N.Korea

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Congressional aides suggested the briefing was being held at the White House to underscore the message to North Korea that Washington is serious about wanting a shift in policy.

North Korea on Tuesday celebrates the anniversary of the founding of its military, a key holiday in the country. In this Monday, April 24, 2017 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan is greeted as it arrives in Busan, South Korea, for a sc.

While the administration said military strikes remained an option, the return to sanctions given the risks of massive North Korean retaliation basically represents a continuation of the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration, which failed to slow Pyongyang down.

"If the enemies dare opt for the military adventure despite our repeated warnings, our armed forces will wipe the strongholds of aggression off the surface of the earth through powerful preemptive nuclear attacks", Defense Minister Pak Yong Sik said in a speech before a hall filled with the country's top brass and broadcast on state television.

There is growing concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests. North Korea is still believed to be preparing for its sixth nuclear test.

Trump has taken a hardline stance against North Korea since taking office in January, repeatedly vowing to "solve the problem" of Pyongyang.

The isolationist state staged its largest-ever artillery firing drill on Tuesday morning to mark the date, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

On Monday, Trump's plans for dealing with North Korea were no clearer.

U.S. officials have warned that a conflict with North Korea could have a devastating effect on ally South Korea and United States troops based there, a point Pyongyang underscored by a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military.

"North Korea will never stop their ambitions to deliver a nuclear weapon to U.S. until the cost of doing so is greater than the benefit".

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Trump convenes the entire Senate for an emergency meeting on the crisis with North Korea.

North Korea has threatened the United States with "all-out war" and announced that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles on a weekly basis.

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Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea.

But with increasingly provocative statements and actions coming from North Korea, the emphasis is on military deterrence.

The U.S government has not specified where the carrier group is at as it approaches the Korean Peninsula. Both will continue Wednesday. The statement says the U.S. is open to negotiations towards that end, but many even in Washington doubt the regime could ever accept such terms.

USA forces have begun deploying an anti-missile system in South Korea that has triggered anger from China.

On Tuesday, a U.S. submarine - the USS Michigan - joined a group of warships in the Korean peninsula led by aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson.

"With each provocation, North Korea jeopardises stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the United States homeland", the three top officials Tillerson, Mattis and Coats said in a joint statement after the meeting. South Korea's navy has said it will hold drills with the USA strike group.