The Yonhap News Agency in South Korea reported that there was a "high possibility" Kim Jong-un's nation could launch a strike today, after transporter erector launchers carrying ICBM launch tubes in North Pyongan province have been moved by North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches preparations for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile in an undisclosed location on July 4.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump is in talks with China, Japan and South Korea on finding ways to deal with North Korea nuclear and ballistic program.
Liu said China is still working to convince other governments to support its suspension-for-suspension proposal in which North Korea would suspend nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending their joint military exercises.
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that even if Pyongyang developed a workable ICBM from its "tinker-toy mix of old Russian missiles", it would pose a threat to the United States and its allies only if Kim's regime was suicidal.
Since the beginning of 2017, the North has conducted almost a dozen other missile tests that we know of.
It has been a long-held belief of the United States government that we have only three options to rein in the country's nuclear initiatives: impose sanctions with the intention of depriving them of the resources necessary to function as a nation, a forcible regime change and a military intervention, which would trigger a North Korean military response (North Korea has the fourth largest army in the world).
Some past defectors committed serious crimes in the South and chose to go back to North Korea to escape punishment, Kim told VOA's Korean service, but nearly everyone else who winds up back in the North was coerced: "Going back to North Korea after living [in the South] is a lot riskier than escaping from there".
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China's military has been increasing the strength and number of its forces along its 880-mile border with North Korea as Pyongyang's military provocations cause the U.S. and its allies to think long and hard about military action against the rogue regime.
In North Korea, most ordinary citizens do not have internet access, the report explains. The United States ratcheted up its call for sanctions following the Pyongyang regime's July 4 missile launch and gave China a draft resolution to consider.
The North on July 4 tested a Hwasong-14 ballistic missile can fly 7,000 to 8,000 km.
Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated sanctions on North Korea before formally involving other council members, though diplomats said Washington informally keeps Britain and France in the loop.
"We can't afford to argue with North Korea because it will completely cast Russia to the sidelines", said Georgy Toloraya, head of the Russian Academy of Science's Center for Asian Strategy.
Reports have speculated North Korea is gearing up to fire another missile in the coming days.
"There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel and we are working towards that light, and I can't really tell how much time we would need", Liu said. "The way you eliminate the North Korean nuclear program is to eliminate North Korea".
Gause says the North Korean government wants to develop its economy, but is unwilling to limit its weapons programs.
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