Asia held hostage by Kim Jong Un's 'twisted fantasies'

Donald Trump addresses the APEC CEO summit in Vietnam but his remarks on Russian intervention in the 2016 elections have made the headlines at home. AFP  Jim Watson

The assessment came after the leaders of China and the United States vowed to improve coordination over the reclusive state, with US President Donald Trump calling on Beijing to work hard to stop Pyongyang from realising its nuclear ambitions.

U.S. intelligence believes, however, that North Korea's underground nuclear test site at Punggye-ri has been damaged due to underground seismic activity and could be unsuitable for use.

The ministry said that Trump's trip "is a warmonger's trip for confrontation with our country, trying to remove our self-defensive nuclear deterrent".

The US administration thinks China's economic leverage over North Korea is the key to strong-arming Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

Trump has previously derided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "rocket man".

The US militaries biggest worry is that North Korea might conduct an atmospheric nuclear test after the regime has followed through on all of their threats to date.

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The army veteran said even limited military action against North Korea could cause a full-scale war leaving the United States "vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces".

In this image released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, flanked by South Korean destroyers, from left, Yang Manchun and Sejong the Great, and the U.S. Navy's Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy, transit the western Pacific Ocean Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Lt Gen Jouas said the U.S. "are vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces, as well as allied forces that will conduct the overwhelming majority of the fighting". The Aegis technology refers to missile tracking and guidance.

The US has been sending its strategic assets, also including long-range bombers, to the region more frequently for patrols or drills amid accelerating North Korean efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program.

Joseph Yun, Washington's top North Korean official, was reported by the Washington Post as saying last month that if the regime halted nuclear and missile testing for about 60 days, that would be the signal the US needs to resume direct dialogue with Pyongyang.

"We have two or three channels in which we can with high confidence get messages to him and he can get messages back to us and we keep those open", he said of Kim.

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