North Korea and USA: News updates as Trump and Kim Jong-un stand on brink of nuclear war

North Korea continues to ramp up tensions with the US, with Kim Jong-un threatening to conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test.

Donald Trump has warned that military action is a possibility, and has agreed to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin to solve the “very dangerous” situation.

The US president has already moved an anti-missile system, submarines and aircraft carriers into South Korea in a major show of military might.

Kim Jong-un has broken ties with his sole ally China, warning Beijing of “grave consequences” if it sides with the US.

With no clear solution to the conflict in sight and fears that nuclear war could be imminent, here are the latest updates live 24/7.

Thursday May 4

1.00pm BST: A North Korean defector has praised Donald Trump for his tough stance on Kim Jong-un’s regime .

Hyeon-seo Lee, the author of The Girl with Seven Names, said she was reduced to tears when she first heard the American President speak out against North Korea.

She told Fox News: “Not any president said those words until today – even though we’ve been suffering for seven decades.”

11.30am BST: North Korea has warned China of “grave consequences” to come if Beijing cuts relations with Pyonyang.

A statement was published in Kim’s mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency, which said: “The DPRK will never beg for the maintenance of friendship with China, risking its nuclear program which is as precious as its own life, no matter how valuable the friendship is.

“China should no longer try to test the limits of the DPRK's patience…..(and) had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the DPRK-China relations.”

The hard-hitting statement marks the first time that North Korea has openly threatened its neighbour in the same manner that it so regularly attacks the US, South Korea and other so-called enemies.

Previously, North Korea has spoken indirectly about China, criticising a “neighbouring country” for “dancing to the tune of others”.

China is North Korea’s sole remaining diplomatic ally and trading partner, but relations have broken down in recent weeks after China banned all imports of North Korean coal following UN sanctions.

China has said that it still wants to be good neighbours with North Korea in the wake of the criticism.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said “China position on developing friendly, good-neighbourly relations with North Korea is also consistent and clear.”

5.30am BST: A Top US Senator has told Donald Trump not to speak with North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un until the dictator scraps his prized nuclear programme.

Colorado senator Cory Gardner branded Kim a “maniac” and a “whack-job” as he lashed out at the President following remarks made earlier this week.

President Trump stunned the world after he said he would be “willing” and “honoured” to meet the ruthless despot amid simmering tensions around US Navy manoeuvres near the Korean peninsula and threats from of nuclear annihilation from Pyongyang.

But Mr Gardner took a harder line, telling a US television station: "I think most people agree that Kim Jong-un is a whack job.

( Source )

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