U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told South Korea's presidential envoy that he is aware that there is a procedural problem in South Korea with the decision to host the U.S. THAAD missile defense system, the envoy said. Admiral Harry Harris, in discussing a stronger world response to North Korea's nuclear weapons program, stated, according to the Diplomat, "I firmly believe that the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Russia and every nation who considers itself to be a responsible contributor to worldwide security, must publicly and privately work together to bring Kim Jong-Un to his senses, not to his knees".
North Korea has justified its latest long-, medium-range ballistic missile test-firing as "routine work to raise nuclear capability for self-defence", rejecting the UN Security Council's condemnation.
"The U.S. should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the U.S. insists (on) its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure", Kim said.
Moon won an election last week campaigning on a more moderate approach towards the North and said after taking office that he wants to pursue dialogue as well as pressure.
Communications were severed by the North a year ago, Lee said, in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's fifth nuclear test and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated inside the North.
"As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured (toward) dialogue", North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong told reporters on Friday.
North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Kim accused the council of playing "to the tune of the US again" and protested the Trump administration's demand for countries to choose allegiance between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, his country's official name.
The issue of THAAD deployment on the peninsula was not raised during Hong's discussions with Trump, but the former South Korean diplomat said the US missile defense system was addressed during a separate meeting with Gen. McMaster.
"If this goes to a military solution it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale, and so our effort is to work with the United Nations, work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation", Mattis said at a news conference. "In every test he [Kim] makes", Harris said, according to AFP, "it's a success because it takes North Korea one step closer to be able to deliver a nuclear-tipped missile anywhere in the world".