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Military action against North Korea `not inevitable`: Donald Trump

Kim Jong-un is readying his first full nuclear missile above ground

In his earlier remarks, Trump warned that North Korea would face "fire and fury" should it continue to threaten the United States.

Asked Sunday whether he was going to attack North Korea, Trump said simply: "We'll see".

Japanese defence minister Itsunori Onodera said he hoped for a firm United Nations resolution, adding stronger economic penalties might lead to a change in North Korea's behaviour.

Dozens of people have been injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police as the USA military added more launchers to the missile-defence system it installed in a southern town to handle North Korean threats.

In a briefing Thursday, Cho June-hyuck, spokesman of the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "The UN Security Council is now discussing a new sanctions resolution that includes a ban on the export of oil to North Korea". Recent missile tests point to advancements by North Korea in developing a missile that could reach the continental US.

Pyongyang imports almost all of its oil and gas from China.

China and Russian Federation oppose deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea. China is North Korea's main ally and by far its biggest trading partner, including for oil shipments.

China on Thursday signalled it would support the United Nations taking further measures against North Korea following the test.

USA officials declined to discuss operational planning, but acknowledge no existing plan for a pre-emptive strike could promise to prevent a brutal counterattack by North Korea, which has thousands of artillery pieces and rockets trained on Seoul.

The proposal, which also calls for freezing Kim's assets, has been sent to the 15 members of the Security Council, the diplomat said.

Frigate bird blast
GETTY BLAST FROM THE PAST Frigate bird was seen for miles

"Only when the two are put together can it unlock the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula", he said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also reiterated Beijing's opposition to South Korea's deployment of the US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence System, also known as THAAD, which is meant to protect against North Korean missile attacks. "But I can tell you North Korea is behaving badly and it's got to stop", he said.

Mr Putin said he believes US President Donald Trump's administration is willing to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Speaking in a White House news conference along with the premier of Kuwait, the US President said, "Military action would certainly be an option".

He declined to say if he'd accept a nuclear-armed North Korea that can be successfully deterred from using such weapons.

The only alternative, the current and former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, is some combination of containment and deterrence similar to the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction and arms control treaties that helped prevent a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The official said the danger of war is rising, and the U.S. is also concerned about North Korea exporting its nuclear technology to other nations or to terrorist groups.

Mattis promised a "massive, effective and overwhelming military response" if South Korea and other USA allies were threatened, according to the Defense Department. We'll see whether or not he can do it.

Senior Whitehall sources told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances.

Last year, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on the September 9 anniversary. Trump also held a 45-minite phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday on how to restrain the North.