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Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Trump says strike vs NKorea not his top option

Trump says strike vs NKorea not his top option

South Korea expects North Korea to engage in more provocative action next month to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of its communist party and China's all-important Communist Party Congress.

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson will visit China from Thursday to Saturday for talks with senior officials that will include the crisis over North Korea and trade, the State Department said on Tuesday.

Park said President Moon told the meeting that Washington and Seoul agreed that pressure needed to be applied to North Korea, with the door to talks still open.

Twitter is citing "newsworthiness" and the public interest as reasons why it didn't remove President Donald Trump's declaration in a tweet that North Korean leaders may not "be around much longer".

"This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean peninsula".

The US targeted North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank and the Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as North Korean government agencies.

"We've not declared war on North Korea, and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd", Sanders said.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho responded to the comments this week, accusing Trump of effectively declaring war and said Pyongyang now had the right to shoot down USA military jets even if they do not cross into his country's airspace.

China on Thursday ordered North Korean-owned businesses to close, cutting foreign revenue for the isolated North under United Nations sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs.

Branches of China's biggest banks have told AFP that they have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans, a measure that is not required under United Nations sanctions.

Trump repeated praise he offered last week for China's reported breaking off of banking relations with North Korea.

They also ban sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source.

Revere said his best guess for why the North Koreans were doing this was because they were "puzzled by the unconventional way that President Trump has been handling the North Korea issue" and were eager to use "informal and unofficial meetings to gain a better understanding of what is motivating Trump and his administration".

There has been no official confirmation from China of such a step. The Treasury Department says the 26 individuals are North Korean nationals employed by those banks who work in Russia, China, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

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