South Korea's defense ministry, though, said that the measure was "temporary" and necessary as the region braces for another potential missile launch. It also provides hundreds of thousands of tonnes of oil and fuel to the impoverished regime. The US has accused North Korea of "begging for war" and repeatedly urged China to step up pressure against its neighbour.
North Korea accused South Korea and Japan of "dirty politics", and said it would respond to any new UN sanctions and U.S. pressure with "powerful counter measures", accusing the United States of aiming for war.
North Korea on Thursday pledged to take "powerful counter measures" to respond to USA pressure or any new sanctions against it over its missile programme, accusing Washington of wanting war.
Now, US President Donald Trump has said that though he prefers not to use military options but if that becomes a reality then it would be a "very sad day" for the leadership in Pyongyang.
Trump also said North Korea "is behaving badly and it's got to stop".
"I think if the president even tries to reach out for Kim, I think it would be a great possibility things can happen", he said, adding that if the two engaged in dialogue, "I think that'll open up maybe the door just a little bit". The official also said the North could choose the founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, which falls on October 10, to conduct a provocation.
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Asked by VOA what he discussed concerning North Korea with the Chinese leader, Trump replied that "President Xi would like to do something on North Korea" but it is unclear "whether or not he can do it".
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS: Mr. President, on the question of North Korea, the country feels that a crisis is coming.
But neither side appears willing to budge.
The South Korean government said earlier that the North might potentially mark the 69th anniversary of its founding with its third test of a developmental intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Using a combination of carrots (foreign aid) and sticks (economic sanctions), the US and allied nations have failed miserably to change North Korea's behavior. Two THAAD batteries have already been installed. A fire department official in Seongju said 38 people, including six police officers, were injured, none seriously.
The deployment has drawn strong objections from China, which believes the system's radar could be used to look deeply into its territory and will upset the regional security balance. Beijing lodged a formal protest with Seoul Thursday over the added THAAD components. China objects to both the military drills and the deployment in South Korea of an advanced USA missile defence system that has a radar that can see deep into Chinese territory.