South Korean President Moon Jae-in has observed a test-firing of a new midrange missile the country is developing to cope with growing threats from North Korea.
Moon said that though he believes dialogue, engagement and talks with the DPRK would be made possible only when South Korea has strong capability for defense and security that will overpower the DPRK.
The comments came days after new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special adviser on unification, foreign affairs and national security, Moon Chung-in, surprised an American audience at his speech in Washington last week by suggesting the USA shrink their joint exercises in exchange for a suspension of North Korean testing.
The news of the new test also comes as another USA official said Wednesday there are signs of increased activity at North Korea's lone nuclear test site.
"At least I know China tried!"
Just two days earlier, Trump had condemned the "brutality of the North Korean regime" after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea for almost a year and a half.
A North Korean coach and 20 other ITF officials, mostly North Koreans, also came to South Korea.
The United States "reiterated to China that they have a diplomatic responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime if they want to prevent further escalation in the region", Tillerson said Wednesday.
China's top diplomat met Trump at the White House on Thursday, where he said Beijing was willing to keep working with Washington to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, China's foreign ministry said. Defense officials and the domestic news media said the missile could fly up to 497 miles - the maximum ballistic missile range allowed under a deal with the United States. "If this last stage engine is complete, then Pyongyang could test launch its ICBM within two months".
Experts however say North Korea could still be years away from possessing any reliable ICBM capability, reports said.
But a test on June 21 of a new capability being developed by the United States and Japan to defend against shorter-range missiles failed to hit its target, the US Missile Defence Agency said yesterday.
In February 2012, North Korea agreed to to a temporary moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and a freeze of its uranium-enrichment facilities in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food aid from the US.