'SPASM OF A LUNATIC': N. Korea scoffs at Trump's 'nuclear button'

Putin and trump

GETTYBoth the US and Russia are increasing their nuclear capabilities

Though the U.S. military routinely trains on the Korean peninsula with South Korean counterparts, The New York Times reported Sunday that a series of drills in the United States suggest a new focus on readying the military for conflict with North Korea.

The summit comes at a critical time.

"The approach to the South Koreans was clever; the decision to go to the Olympics is clever", Rice said. But none of them could be said to have been planned by either the USA or erstwhile Soviet Union leadership.

"We want North Korea to understand the importance which the worldwide community places on it returning to a meaningful dialogue on denuclearisation", says Mr Peters. To the contrary, it was part of an intentional campaign created to get North Korea to understand that Trump, unlike his predecessors, is willing to use force to stop Pyongyang from threatening American cities.

The latest fracas underscores the erratic character of the Trump administration's stance toward North Korea that veers wildly from reckless military threats to suggestions that a negotiated solution is possible.

But Trump's willingness to respond in kind - he has repeatedly called Kim "little rocket man" - is rare for an American leader and has led to several fiery verbal barrages since he took office almost a year ago.

There are two important lessons to be learned from Hawaii and Civil Defence. Cowardice, passivity, and a lack of strong leadership skills and experience by prior presidents have created this extremely unsafe and untenable situation.

That insight might help us understand better the nature of the country that is threatening a nuclear missile attack against major USA cities. "We'll be discussing sanctions - the sanctions that we have done multilaterally and unilaterally to date - and their effectiveness, and what we can be doing in the coming year".

"The uncontrolled collapse of North Korea means either refugee flows or war, but also ultimately a reunified Korea which is allied to the United States", Gabuev told CNN.

"That is what we want to have come out of this - let the diplomats know that they are backed up by the force of arms", he said, according to a Pentagon transcript.

Kim Jong Un claimed in his New Year's Day address that North Korea had the ability to launch nuclear weapons, with the "entire United States" within range and "a nuclear button is always on my desk".

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"What there can never be, no matter what is necessary, is a nuclear North Korea that is capable of re-entry and targeted delivery".

"I have a great relationship with him [China President Xi Jinping], as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea", the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"I think the global sanction regime should be much wider and more profound and more pronounced, and bring far greater pressure to bear on the North Koreans".

Although Russia backed the December UN resolution against North Korea, one senior Russian lawmaker has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions as a way to limit Kim Jong Un's ability to develop his weapons program.

But without China's participation, critics worry the talks will be fruitless.

China has criticised the Vancouver talks - hosted by the USA and Canada and which exclude both Beijing and Moscow - and called for sanctions discussions to remain within the United Nations framework.

He also questioned the list of 20 countries invited to attend, all of which supported the United Nations force that fought against the North Koreans, Chinese and Russians during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.

To help keep track of where things stand in North Korea, we've kept a running list of the insults between two of the world's most volatile leaders.

In his briefing last week, Hook said China was making progress on the issue.

Banning Trump would nearly certainly result in a fiery backlash from his more adoring followers, and likely the president would find some way of retaliating with all of the government resources at his disposal.

"I don't see any hope for the U.S. to get support for the idea of boarding ships at sea", he told CNN last week.

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