NKorea says it will speed up nuke program in response to US

North Korea's missile and nuclear technology might reach a tipping point if Washington and Pyongyang refuse to negotiate, a senior Chinese diplomat has warned.

After Trump told Bloomberg News he would be honored to meet with Kim, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters the United States would need to see North Korea's provocative behavior ratcheted down immediately.

Later on Monday, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said in a statement: "The United States remains open to credible talks on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula; however conditions must change before there is any scope for talks to resume", adding that North Korea must abandon its nuclear weapons program.

On Monday Pyongyang declared that it was ready to conduct its sixth nuclear test whenever leadership deemed appropriate, as the North Korean capital continues trading shows of force with Washington.

The THAAD deployment has drawn protests from China, which says the powerful radar that can penetrate its territory will undermine regional security, and from residents of the area in which it is being deployed, anxious they will be a target for North Korean missiles.

"We will firmly take necessary measures to uphold our interests", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

The North has carried out five nuclear tests in the last 11 years and is widely believed to be making progress toward its dream of building a missile capable of delivering a warhead to the continental United States.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Kennedy Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 1, 2017, to the Independent Community Bankers Association. A lot of people, I'm sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else.

Mr Trump's suggestion of admiration for Kim, however, is something entirely new. In a CBS interview aired Sunday, Trump called Kim a "pretty smart cookie," seeming to credit him for retaining control of the country at a young age after the death of his father.

Will North Korea crisis finally bring China and United States together?

Mr Trump told Bloomberg that "most political people would never say" they would meet Kim, adding: "I'm telling you, under the right circumstances, I would meet with him".

Trump's musings about a potential meeting with Kim were reminiscent of Barack Obama's declaration during his 2008 campaign that he'd be willing to meet without pre-condition with the leaders of North Korea, Iran, Cuba and other nations long at odds with the U.S. Republicans and Obama's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, criticized Obama for that statement.

"Sanctions may exert huge pressure, but the country can hold up and will not give up nuclear development because of them", wrote Fu, who is also a former deputy foreign minister.

Despite pivotal elections in South Korea next week, Pompeo has no plans to meet with any of the presidential candidates.

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