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Harris also expressed confidence the United States could defeat any North Korea missile attack on an American aircraft carrier strike group but said the United States should study placing additional missile defense capabilities in Hawaii.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to Trump yesterday, urging all sides to "maintain restraint and avoid actions that would increase tensions". The USS Carl Vinson strike group, which has positioned itself in the Philippine Sea, can now reach North Korea in a two-hour flight, he said.

Abe described his conversation with Trump as a "thorough exchange of views".

The vessel will take part in joint naval drills with South Korea's forces to "demonstrate Seoul and Washington's strong determination to punish North Korean provocations", the South Korean Navy said in a statement.

Nikki Haley, Trump's U.N. ambassador, said the United States is not looking for a fight with Kim and would not attack North Korea "unless he gives us reason to do something".

Abe also said he and Trump agreed that China, North Korea's neighbor and sole major ally, should play a large role in dealing with Pyongyang.

South Korea's defence ministry said some elements of THAAD were moved to the site on what had been a golf course in the south of the country. "North Korea is not a Syria, it's not an Iraq, the consequences could be extremely high".

"If these dates are driving the positioning of the (USS) Carl Vinson, the obvious problem is the Vinson can leave and the North Koreans can do a nuclear test the week after that", Delury said.

The streets of Pyongyang, however, were quiet for Tuesday's anniversary, which was overshadowed by April 15 celebrations of the birthday of the nation's late founder, Kim Il Sung, and were marked by a missile test the following day.

Beijing reiterated this stance on Tuesday, voicing its hope that the North Korea nuclear issue will be solved peacefully.

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Asked about defences of the continental United States, Harris deferred to other commanders but said: "I do believe that the numbers could be improved".

"There is no limit to the strike power of the People's Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturised nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles", the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a front-page editorial.

"With each provocation, North Korea jeopardizes stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the USA homeland".

Both, the United States and South Korea made a decision to the early deployment of the missile defence system after talks between the South's acting president and visiting US Vice President Mike Pence, earlier this month.

All 100 US senators will gather Wednesday for a White House briefing on the volatility in North Korea.

Cardin said the USA needs to plan for contingencies as Kim Jong Un is an unpredictable leader but there's no "pretty military solution".

The strategy hinges greatly on the cooperation of China, North Korea's main trading partner.

US representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met Tuesday with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi and Kim Hong-kyun of South Korea.

The South's Yonhap news agency cited a government source as saying the exercise was the North's "largest ever" and was presumed to have been overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un. However the move has angered China, which says the advanced system will do little to deter the North while destabilising the regional security balance. And in NY, the United Nations Security Council scheduled a special ministerial meeting Friday to discuss further sanctions on the regime in Pyongyang.


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