President Donald Trump and his top envoy to the U.N. say the latest sanctions against North Korea are necessary to try to curb the reclusive nation's nuclear program. The sanctions followed groundbreaking long-range missile tests last month that showed the North could potentially reach the continental United States with its missiles. They evoked President Harry Truman's announcement of the US atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, in which he warned of "a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth". The upshot: The U.S. policy of "strategic patience" - waiting for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to come to his senses and the bargaining table - is officially over.
How will North Korea respond?
Indeed, North Korea has been diligent about testing its nuclear weapons, especially its intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Stocks, dollar extend slide as US-North Korea tensions intensify
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retreated 2-3%, while gold miners Evolution and Newcrest rose about 2% each. At noon, the dollar fetched 109.88-89 yen compared with 110.26-36 yen in NY and 110.58-60 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
The U.N.'s measures are created to put economic pressure on North Korea by targeting the country's primary exports, which include coal, iron, lead and seafood.
There's been smarter talk of amping up the USA cyber campaign to send the North Korean missile program into a tailspin, much as the US did against Iran's nascent nuclear program.
Recent sanctions have all but eliminated the prospect of any diplomacy between North Korea and the United States. The assessments are typically an estimate of the amount of plutonium and enriched uranium North Korea has in its inventory rather than how much of that material has been weaponized.
USA 'taking all possible actions' to defend against North Korea
Still, he said the United States is edging closer to war with Kim because of his nuclear provocations. "But we are closer to war than we were a decade ago".
A couple of weeks back, North Korea threatened to wipe out America in a missile strike.
It remains unclear if the US will ever have to deploy its own nuclear force against North Korea. It's unclear how many, if any, miniaturized warheads North Korea has built. "He's not insane and he's not suicidal".
"The real threat is we're going to stumble into a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula".
A new approach for North Korea's nuclear weapon threat
Trump expressed hope that the US would not have to use this "power", but remained confident in the strength of the country. The United States and North Korea have repeatedly exchanged hard-line rhetoric, as if to show no hesitation to go to war.
The president tweeted: 'After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. China can yank hard on the North's economic lifeline and help inform average North Korean citizens that they could live far better lives without the Kim regime and its brand of leader-take-all communism. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen", Trump said during a briefing at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.