United States warships are sent to the Korean peninsula

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first summit talks last week and agreed to increase cooperation to persuade the North to abandon its illicit weapons programs, according to the White House.

Trump's hesitancy to punish China for its unfair trading practices as he promised to do on the campaign trail exacerbated this view, in addition to the limited response to North Korea's repeated provocations.

Trump made it a point to address the media about the Syria strike at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida just moments after dining with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping.

North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests and continued pursuit of a nuclear program have raised tensions in the region, where U.S. Navy ships are a common presence and serve in part as a show of force.

"I highly praised the [U.S.] president's strong commitment to the peace and security of its allies and the world", Abe told reporters after the talks.

North Korea has carried out tests to develop a nuclear missile.

Senior envoys of South Korea, Japan and the United State on the North Korea nuclear programme will soon meet to discuss their coordinated response, the South's foreign ministry said.

Kim Yong-Hyun, a professor at Dongguk University, said the strike against Syria was a statement of intent that was meant for a broader audience.

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Still others said Mr. Trump had fallen victim to the U.S.

While the US wants a denuclearized Korean peninsula, it has "no objective to change the regime in North Korea", Tillerson said Sunday on "This Week" program.

North Korea conducted another ballistic missile test Wednesday, shortly before Xi and Trump met. Kim has said previously his regime was close to developing a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to North America, and has threatened to conduct preemptive strikes on the USA and its allies if it believed an attack was imminent.

"We all know that Assad would not poison his own people", he said in an online video.

North Korea has sounded a note of defiance, calling the United States strikes against Syria on Friday "an unforgivable act of aggression" that showed its decision to develop nuclear weapons was "the right choice". He also said that the USA goal is the North's denuclearization, not regime change.

Some $347 billion of the $502 billion trade deficit recorded by the US a year ago was with China.

North Korea considers Syria as a key ally and has criticized the USA action.

Asked about whether that is a plausible scenario, Blinken said that although it is "hard to imagine putting meaningful pressure" on North Korea without Beijing, which has significant leverage to exert economic pressure on Pyongyang, there are several unilateral steps available to Trump.