'Significant' activity spotted at North Korea's nuclear-testing site

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Trump claimed credit Wednesday for the inter-Korean dialogue, saying North Korea was feeling the pressure of a us -led campaign of sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile development. In a New Year's Day address, he suggested that North Korea had achieved its nuclear ambitions and said a "launch button" was "always on the desk in my office". "I just don't want to comment". "I could give you 20 examples".

The former deputy commander of South Korea's army, In-Bum Chun, told an audience at the Policy Exchange think tank in London that although a military option to deal with the North did exist, it should be the last option. "I have relationships with people".

Asked if he had spoken with Mr Kim, the President said cryptically: "I don't want to comment on it". It has, however, retained back-channel communications through the North's diplomatic mission at the United Nations in NY.

The North Korean leader claimed that he has a button on his desk to order a nuclear strike against the US, but for Kim to field a reliable nuclear deterrent against the USA and its allies, additional weapons testing will be undoubtedly be required. It announced it had postponed its joint military exercises with the USA, an annual event that North Korea believes encroaches on their sovereignty, earlier this month.

A high-profile meeting with the South in the truce village of Panmunjom was held Tuesday after more than two years of crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons progress, beginning with the communist state's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

As such, North Korea's neighbors China and Russian Federation are not invited, and many have questioned the utility of a conference where such influential regional players are absent.

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These expert observers note that while the North Portal, where North Korea tested a suspected staged thermonuclear weapon - a hydrogen bomb - in early September past year, remains dormant, there is plenty of activity at the West Portal.

President Trump, who has repeatedly called Kim Jong-Un "Rocket Man" and his government a "band of criminals" while threatening to destroy the country with "fire and fury", said Thursday that he has a "very good relationship" with the Korean dictator.

"You'll see that a lot with me and then all of the sudden somebody's my best friend", the president said. You could give me 30.

Trump's strategy with North Korea has been hot and cold.

A White House statement said the two leaders discussed Macron's recent visit to China and committed to continue to apply pressure on North Korea.

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