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United States to tighten sanctions on North Korea

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Last week 1,250 U.S. Marines arrived in Darwin along with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, for military training exercises with Australian and visiting Chinese forces

"By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the U.S.is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war", North Korea said in a statement earlier in April. However, simultaneously the United States will also encourage China to use its influence on its ally, and reject bilateral diplomacy with Pyongyang. But some lawmakers on both sides went away dissatisfied.

"We are engaging responsible members of the global community to increase pressure on the DPRK in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue", the statement added, using North Korea's official name.

Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee who attended the White House briefing, said senators "were not presented with any specific military option". He said he believed Trump was developing a "diplomatic strategy that strikes me as clear-eyed and well proportioned to the threat".

A statement issued by the State Department say the US will try to contain the North Korean threat by exerting pressure through diplomatic measures and tighter economic sanctions.

The US is to tighten sanctions on North Korea and step up diplomatic moves aimed at pressuring the country to end its nuclear and missile programmes.

Tension remains very high between the DPRK and the United States over the latter's threat to stage military strikes against Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programs.

The US leader spoke about North Korea in telephone conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday and with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, the White House said.

It said that Seoul and Washington have been pushing to get THAAD quickly working to cope with North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile threats.

China has been angered, however, by USA deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile defense system in South Korea, complaining that its radar can see deep into China and undermines its security.

Just hours before the rare briefing, the top United States commander in the Pacific, Admiral Harry Harris, testified in Congress that Washington may need to strengthen its missile defences, particularly in Hawaii, given Pyongyang's threat.

More than 10 protesters were injured during clashes with police and some of them had bone fractures, said Kim Jong-kyung, cohead of a group protesting the THAAD deployment.

He said any North Korean missile fired at United States forces would be destroyed.

This artillery drill appears to have been meant to underscore North Korea's substantial retaliatory capability in the event of a U.S. attack.

In the past two weeks, Trump has ordered high-powered USA military vessels, including an aircraft carrier, to the region in a show of force to deter North Korea from more nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea claims this is a further example of Washington's hostile policy toward it.

The Thaad deployment comes at a time of escalated fears of military action on the ever-tense Korean peninsula.

South Korea said in a statement Wednesday that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed.

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