China seeks to deter US from military action v North Korea

Last year North Korean troops carried out mock attacks of South Korean landmarks

GETTYLast year North Korean troops carried out mock attacks of South Korean landmarks

The ominous comments came the same day Trump ordered the dropping of the biggest non-nuclear bomb the U.S. military possesses on Afghanistan, targeting a complex used by the Islamic State group. It was the first time that the 21,000-pound bomb, also known as as "Mother Of All Bombs", has been used in battle.

Mr Han said the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now in a "vicious cycle".

With a USA aircraft carrier group steaming to the area, tensions in the Korean peninsula have increased this week.

While U.S. President Donald Trump has put North Korea on notice that he won't tolerate provocative actions by the North, U.S. officials have said his administration was focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions.

USA officials said Trump was considering tougher sanctions that could possibly include an oil embargo, banning North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships, and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

Japan added another reason for concern, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a session of his parliament, "There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to deliver missiles with sarin as warheads". "The problem will be taken care of".

"I think he's going to try very hard". He's a very special man.

'So we'll see what happens. Trump has also said the United States is prepared to tackle the crisis without China, if necessary.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and benefactor, which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to a peaceful resolution and the denuclearisation of the peninsula. Other possibilities include interdicting North Korean freighters, prohibiting the use of North Korean contract labor overseas, implementing a global ban on coal, or banning North Korea's seafood exports.

Trump signals he could be moving closer to the mainstream on monetary policy, saying he has not ruled out reappointment of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair as he considers his choices for the USA central bank.

US officials have told Reuters that an oil embargo is among tougher sanctions Washington could pursue to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

China, which supplies most of North Korea's crude, no longer reports its oil shipments to the country, but according to South Korean data supplies it with roughly 500,000 tons of crude oil annually.

Mr Trump wants China to help contain North Korea, but in recent weeks he has signalled a willingness to handle the issue alone.

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