US, South Korea, China and Russian Federation stage military drills near the North

Russia-China drills

Russia-China drills

A week later the United Nations had approved an eighth round of sanctions against the country.

They were the first flights since the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 and staged an intermediate-range missile test over Japan last Friday, sending regional tensions soaring.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his South Korean counterpart have "discussed the option" of putting nuclear weapons in the country to deter North Korea, Mattis told reporters Monday.

Such a test would be considered a major provocation by the U.S., South Korea and Japan.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday that the USA has not moved to shoot down any of North Korea's test missiles because "those missiles are not directly threatening any of us".

"If North Korea does not have UDMH, it can not threaten the United States, it's as simple as that", Democratic senator Edward Markey said.

Russian Federation and China also began joint naval exercises in the area adding to the military presence near the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's recent missile launches over Japan especially drew stern rebukes from Tokyo and the worldwide community.

The issue of North Korea is expected to be discussed during this week's United Nations General Assembly Meeting in NY. Their statement stressed that the actions taken by North Korea are not only a threat to the greater region, but to all member states.

The sources said banks were told to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and to wind down loans with existing customers, following tighter sanctions against Pyongyang by the United Nations. Some hawks in Washington growl that the Chinese secretly like the way that North Korea keeps the Americans bogged down, and too distracted to challenge bad behaviour by Chinese naval forces and paramilitaries in the South China Sea.

Will North Korea's plan work? No.

Abe also said diplomacy and dialog would not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire worldwide community was essential to tackle the threats posed by the north and its leader, Kim Jong Un. The former wants North Korean military threats resolved by any means necessary, up to and including force if necessary.

Broadly, then, the two countries are in unprecedented agreement over North Korea.

Although Russia has much less influence over North Korea than China does, it remains a dark horse on the Korean Peninsula. However, Moscow's interests in the North Korean issue can not be overlooked.

Pentagon leaders have provided Trump with a range of military options for dealing with Kim, whose regime has launched 22 missiles in 2017.

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