Trump to Seoul: We want a diplomatic solution to North Korea

He warned that for too long USA officials have relied on China to deal with the nuclear threat from North Korea, but over the past 25 years it "manifestly could do more".

Harris insisted that dealing with the threat of a nuclear North Korea was not just a regional or a US problem (given that the USA bears the brunt of much of North Korea's bellicose language), but a world problem. At maximum distance its range would be about 4,500 kilometers.

North Korea on Sunday launched what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet, claiming it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead" in a test aimed at bringing the United States mainland within reach.

The successful launch is a significant advancement for the North Korean missile program, NBC News reported.

"More importantly", he added, it "may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile".

Seoul/Washington: Cybersecurity researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the WannaCry cyber attack that has infected more than 3 lakh computers worldwide, as global authorities scrambled to prevent hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

Admiral Harry Harris warns that North Korea is a world threat, not just a regional threat.

"Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic missile technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong Un is a recipe for disaster", Harris told the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, referring to North Korea's leader.

Although the two countries are allies, they are divided over the issue of whether South Korea has to pay for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system deployed in the south of the country. South Korean defense minister Han Min-koo said that the North Korean missile program was progressing faster than expected. US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said yesterday that China's leverage was key. He also emphasized that the US has been encouraging China to take "appropriate actions" with regard to its volatile neighbor.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Lee Hae-chan, special envoy of the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in, in Beijing, capital of China, May 18, 2017. Although he has sometimes criticized the THAAD deployment, Moon has not said he will remove it.

The ministry spokeswoman also said China favors an end to the U.S. "And then we're going to continue to take care of Japan". North Korea called on South Korea to honour and fully implement previous inter-Korean agreements on cooperation and reconciliation.

The threat to expand sanctions is the latest response from the USA following a North Korean ballistic missile test this past weekend.

This opinion article was written by an independent writer.

  • Fernando Stephens