N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

President Donald Trump was due to land in Hanoi on Saturday, as North Korea slammed his "warmonger" Asia tour, saying it will only accelerate Pyongyang's push for a full-fledged nuclear deterrent.

On Friday he warned world leaders gathered in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang that the Asia-Pacific region "must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies".

Pyongyang issued its own retort Saturday branding Trump's Asia tour a "warmonger's visit for confrontation to rid the DPRK of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence", in the first comments on the trip by a North Korean official.

Trump's rhetoric combined with repeated weapons tests by North Korea have increased tensions to some of the highest levels seen since the Korean War of 1950-1953.

Trump met with Japan and South Korea officials early last week.

Trump had also delivered a sharp warning to North Korea in a speech at South Korea's parliament on Wednesday, telling the country: "Do not underestimate us".

It said Trump's warnings "can never frighten us or put a stop to our advance", according to the state-run KCNA news agency, quoting a Pyongyang foreign ministry spokesman.

The United States and South Korea on Saturday started joint naval exercises that will involve three USA aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea.

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Nuclear-powered carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt are taking part in the exercises, which will continue until Tuesday in the Sea of Japan, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Trump attempted a symbolic stare-down of Kim this week at the heavily fortified border that separates North and South Korea, but heavy fog forced the cancellation of his plans.

During Saturday's summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalize bilateral exchanges in all sectors, Yoon added, repeating what was said in the agreement announced last month when the two countries agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a USA anti-missile system.

United States officials have already warned that North Korea are continuing to develop their missiles, rocket fuels and engines as well as targeting and guidance systems.

It is the first such USA triple-carrier drill in the region for a decade.

South Korea's Sejong the Great Aegis destroyer trains with three USA aircraft carriers in the East Sea on November 12, 2017, in this photo provided by the Navy.

The region, he added, must "stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger".

The harsh words between the leaders have escalated in recent months after North Korea threatened to launch missiles toward the United States territory of Guam.

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