Trump, May ask nations to increase pressure on N Korea
Washington: US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have asked all responsible nations to increase pressure on North Korea until it turns to the path of denuclearisation.
The two leaders spoke over phone yesterday during which May also briefed Trump on her recent trip to China, the White House said.
"The two leaders agreed all responsible nations must increase pressure on North Korea until it turns to the path of denuclearisation," the White House said.
"The leaders also agreed the pending United States-United Kingdom Data Sharing Agreement would benefit law enforcement efforts in both countries, and they will advocate for legislation together," the White House said.
Meanwhile, the State Department said there is no plans for the US officials to meet the North Korean delegations during the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
"There are no plans to meet with any North Korean officials during or after the Olympics; I want to be clear about that. There are no plans to do so," State department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference.
North Korea last year increased the pace of its missile programme and launched 23 missiles since February.
In November, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said that his country had achieved full nuclear statehood after what he said was the successful test of a new missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States.
US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday that Washington would soon announce new, tough sanctions to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes, calling it the planet's "most tyrannical and oppressive regime".
Speaking in Tokyo on his way to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, Pence promised the United States and its allies, including Japan, would keep maximum pressure on Pyongyang until it took steps toward "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation".
"To that end, I'm announcing on Wednesday the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever. And we will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all," Pence said after meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Following talks that showcased the US-Japan security alliance, Abe said the two had agreed they could "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Pence reiterated Washington's stance that "all options are on the table" to deal with North Korea.
Pence's trip to South Korea from Thursday will coincide with a visit to the Games by North Korea's ceremonial leader, Kim Yong Nam, the most senior North Korean official to enter the South since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce. Pence had stopped short of ruling out the prospect of meeting senior North Korean officials but President Donald Trump has cast doubt on U.S. negotiations with Pyongyang any time soon. The White House has also cautioned against reading too much into remarks Pence made en route to Japan. Pence warned against allowing North Korea, which has sent a team to the Games, to use the Olympics for propaganda.