Trump, Xi converge on currency, Syria as US-China ties warm

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a meeting of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang on February 15, 2017, to mark the 75th birthday of his late father Kim Jong-il.

Hours after the USA fired a barrage of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, the White House was quick to say that the strike sent a strong signal not just to the war-torn Arab state, but to the rest of the world, as reported in The Financial Times. His government condemned Friday's strike in Syria as an "unforgivable act of aggression" that reinforced its need to maintain a nuclear arsenal.

President Donald Trump has declared he would not declare China to be a currency manipulator to win its help in dealing with North Korea. "It's very hard to know the effect of this on Kim Jong Un, but his elites will worry about a more aggressive USA policy".

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The message, for the 105th anniversary of the birth of Mr Kim's late grandfather and North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, noted that the two countries are "as ever struggling for their rights to self-determination and national sovereignty, and the security and prosperity of their countries", KCNA said.

The deployment of USS Carl Vinson "seems to reflect the (US) perception of the seriousness of the situation on the Korean Peninsula", said Seoul's Defense Ministry spokesperson, Moon Sang-gyun, as cited by Yonhap news agency.

Pyongyang tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile this month.

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"We agreed that there should be strong additional measures based on UN Security Council resolutions if the North pushes ahead with a nuclear test or an ICBM launch despite warnings from the worldwide community", Kim Hong-Kyun told reporters.

Seoul and Washington are also conducting joint military drills, an annual exercise seen by North Korea as a practice for war.

The missile attack came as Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his private estate in Florida, where Trump reportedly planned to urge the leader to take a tougher stance on North Korea.

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To rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missiles programs, Japan and the United States agree that the role of China, the main economic and diplomatic benefactor of North Korea, is crucial.


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