North Korea UN Mission warns over 'total war with United States imperialists'

Earlier it was reported that the Trump administration is considering putting North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. No congressional staffers will be allowed in the closed-door briefing.

Cory Gardner, a member of GOP leadership in the Senate, said "it's clear" the administration "is going to take more and more steps to pressure China as well as others in the region to get the results we need, which is peaceful denuclearisation".

In another move that will likely irk China, Harris said he thought there would be more US freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea "soon", and sought to separate the issue from North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis were among the Trump team who briefed lawmakers, along with other top intelligence officials.

North Korea has threatened the United States with "all-out war" and announced that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles on a weekly basis.

Harris said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system being deployed in South Korea would be operational in the coming days, bolstering the ability to defend the US ally and the 28,500 USA troops stationed there.

The meeting will be held one day after North Korea marked the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army on Tuesday.

"But North Korea has been a bipartisan issue", he said.

Even a mention of the possibility of dialogue with the North can be considered a big change for the tough-talking Trump administration. The North on Tuesday conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills, witnessed by national leader Kim Jong Un, as a reminder of its conventional threat to US -allied South Korea.

It added: "We are engaging responsible members of the global community to increase pressure on [North Korea] in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue".

US officials said Wednesday's briefings will center on three key issues: intelligence about the North's capabilities; USA response options, including military ones; and how to get China and other countries to enforce existing economic sanctions on Pyongyang, along with ideas for new penalties.

U.S commercial satellite images indicated an increase in activity around North Korea's nuclear test site and South Korea's defense ministry said North Korea could conduct "provocations" at any time.

South Korea said that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed.

"The two sides pledged that in the event of additional strategic provocation by the North to swiftly take punitive measures, including a new United Nations security council resolution, that are unbearable for the North", the statement said.

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