Donald Trump summons entire Senate to White House briefing on North Korea

North Korea, meanwhile, threatened to sink the aircraft carrier and launch a "super-mighty pre-emptive strike" against what it called USA aggression.

In what Reuters and Fox News call a "rare" move, four top officials in President Trump's administration will brief the entire US Senate on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, US General Joe Dunford and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats staged the briefing for the senators at a building close to the White House.

"With each provocation, North Korea jeopardises stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the U.S. homeland", the three top officials Tillerson, Mattis and Coats said in a joint statement after the meeting.

Trump said the Security Council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the US administration's policy to maximize pressure on North Korea was "little short of lighting the fuse of total war", the state news agency reported Tuesday.

"The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

"We remain open to negotiations towards that goal".

Spicer said, as Garrett protested.

Other Senate leadership staffers signalled that most, if not all, senators in both parties are expected to attend the White House briefing, The Washington Post reported.

At the same time, they differed on partisan lines on the context and importance of the briefing.

The nation's top military and diplomatic officials will update the senators this afternoon, where President Trump plans to drop by. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday. "If not, we will solve the problem without them!"

"That meeting is a Senate meeting led by Leader McConnell, just utilizing our space", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.




Trump has made China central to his strategy in dealing with North Korea, but Xi's admonition reflected the tensions blanketing the region.

Trump is on the verge of making a decision on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan following a comprehensive review of U.S. strategy, according to a senior U.S. official, who declined to speculate when precisely Trump would announce his decision.

Trump's administration has adopted a "constructive" approach to NAFTA behind the scenes, despite headlines to the contrary, the head of the biggest USA business lobby says in a speech in Mexico City.

"We either deal with this over the next two or three years or we've got to realize that we ourselves are held, to a degree, hostage", Corker, a Tennessee Republican, told the Knoxville News Sentinel editorial board last week.

"I think the President is sending a signal that this is important", Cornyn said.

So far, North Korea has remained defiant.

Seoul held a large annual drill of its own, involving some 100 artillery pieces, 90 armored vehicles and 50 aircraft, as well as 2,000 South Korean and United States troops, the defense ministry said.

"Some of the economic actions take time to develop".

"This is the strongest-ever USA move related to the North Korean nuclear issue".

He says Hawaii is clearly vulnerable right now, adding that more may need to be done to protect the island state.

Although the statement emphasised diplomacy, Democratic senator Christopher Coons said after the White House briefing that military options were discussed.

A 30-minute call (Sunday evening US time/Monday morning in Asia) between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meant to increase pressure on Pyongyang not to engage in further provocative actions, but was not prompted by any significant change in the situation, according to officials in Tokyo. "We want to bring Kim Jong-Un to his senses, not to his knees".

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