China Agrees to 'Vigorous Enforcement' of Sanctions On North Korea

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So they aim for the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Mattis said, "where at least we hope no ships are around".

The United States has "many" military options against North Korea, including some that don't put Seoul at risk, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.

"Yes, I don't want to go into that", Mattis responded.

Seoul is within artillery range of North Korea, which beyond nuclear and conventional weapons is also believed to have a sizable chemical and biological arsenal.

Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could easily result in a degree of bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Americans and millions of Koreans and ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty. When asked if they might include the use of lethal force, he replied: "I don't want to go into that".

Such tests were in violation of Security Council resolutions and showed that North Korea could now target the United States or Europe, he wrote.

US President Donald Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be able to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile.

On Tuesday, US President Trump said in an address to the UN General Assembly that the US may have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.

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North Korea is "intentionally doing provocations that seem to press against the envelope for just how far can they push without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable", Mattis said.

Noting that North Korea's nuclear issue has become one of the most serious issues since the end of the Korean War in 1953, Ban asserted that the worldwide community has to take "all necessary measures when chips are down".

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated in a September 12 press briefing that while "China can do more" when it comes to North Korea, its shift in stance to back the resolutions of the UN Security Council is "significant".

"The increased moves of the U.S. and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure... will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force", the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by its official KCNA news agency.

Washington has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbour and ally, while Beijing has urged the United States to refrain from making threats against the North. "The bottom line is that, when the missiles - were they to be a threat, whether it be to USA territory, Guam, obviously Japan - Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.

The official Xinhua news agency said the joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan.

South Korea has raised the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to the peninsula. He declined to elaborate what those options may be.

Four more of Japan's 34 PAC-3 units, largely used to defend the capital region, were relocated to southwestern Japan recently after North Korea warned of sending missiles toward the USA territory of Guam.

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