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United States military forces hold joint military exercises with South Korea, Japan

19 September 2017

Seoul said Monday the U.S. military has flown powerful bombers and stealth jets over the Korean Peninsula in joint drills with South Korean warplanes and in a show of force after Pyongyang's latest nuclear and missile tests.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared on "Face The Nation" Sunday, a day after North Korea released a new image of its leader, Kim Jong Un, observing a recent missile test.

US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are committed to "maximising pressure" on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions, the White House said today.

But Haley suggested patience was wearing thin and said she would be happy to hand the matter over to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who she said has "plenty of military options".

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"We really have to move with a great deal of urgency, on sanctions, on diplomacy and on preparing, if necessary, a military option", McMaster said.

On North Korea, the USA wants to maintain a united front at the Security Council in favor of ever-toughening sanctions on Kim Jong Un's regime.

The North also fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific last Friday, responding to the new United Nations sanctions with what appeared to be its longest-ever missile flight. He would not say whether he was referring to overt combat action, a cyber attack or something more covert.

Kim Jong Un has pledged to continue the North's programs, saying his country is nearing its goal of "equilibrium" in military force with the United States.

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Trump, who spent the weekend at his New Jersey golf club, gave the North Korean leader a nickname in a tweet about his latest phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The mandate came after North Korea successfully fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan at the beginning of September, in defiance of existing sanctions. "If that doesn't work, General Mattis" - the U.S. defense secretary - "will take care of it".

The news comes after Chinese Foreign Ministry's official representative Lu Kang called for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) resolutions on North Korea on Monday, warning against "complicating matters and creating problems" in reference to statement from USA diplomats. When he'll order the next missile launch or nuclear test, it seems, is anyone's guess.

The U.N. General Assembly takes place through Thursday. The president wants the cut spending and make other operational changes.

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"The president has been very clear that he views this threat of North Korea as ever growing", Tillerson said.

United States military forces hold joint military exercises with South Korea, Japan