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Entire US Senate called to White House for North Korea briefing

26 April 2017

Top Trump administration officials have asked the entire 100-member Senate to attend a briefing on North Korea at the White House on Wednesday, according to senior aides.

White House officials regularly go to Congress to brief on national security matters, but it is unusual for the whole Senate to go to the White House.

The only problem: Trump isn't officially confirmed to attend the session, which will bring almost all 100 senators to an auditorium on the White House campus for an update from top administration officials.

Press reports on Tuesday said a US guided-missile submarine has arrived in South Korea, as diplomats from the United States, Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo Tuesday to discuss the growing threat from the north.

The briefing will take place at 3 p.m. ET. "This feels very much that this is just a Trump request to hold a photo-op, it is totally outside the normal boundaries", said a Democratic congressional aide, who also questioned the security of the White House auditorium.

But journalists at those publications pointed to the fact that Trump will often call up more traditional outlets, like the Washington Post or the New York Times, and give those reporters scoops.

This comes amid a new round of speculation that North Korea might be planning to carry out another nuclear test, with a holiday coming up this week and a round of intramural volleyball at the test facility having concluded, meaning they're no longer too busy to do the test.

Trump associate and media mogul Rupert Murdoch even pulled Spicer aside to counsel him after the White House official received major criticism for his Hitler comment.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


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A federal judge in Maryland also issued a stay against the second travel ban, although with a more limited scope. Watson found grounds for a violation of the constitutional prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion.

Throw in Trump's verbal threats to "solve" the North Korean "problem" and aggressive rhetoric from the president's inner-circle - such as when Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. would end a policy of strategic patience - and the USA appears to be inching closer to a serious armed conflict that could escalate and rope in other global players very quickly.

However, a North Korean ballistic missile test on 16 April failed within seconds of launch, United States experts said.

At the White House on Monday, President Trump said North Korea "is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not".

Japan's envoy on North Korea, Kenji Kanasugi, said after talks with his USA and South Korean counterparts that they all agreed China should take a concrete role to resolve the crisis and it could use an oil embargo as a tool to press the North. On the anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army, North Korea's armed forces conducted large-scale artillery drills near the eastern port city of Wonsan.

"China has been very, very helpful in this process and continues to be". Trump spoke about Syria, North Korea, immigration, and infrastructure spending.

Trump has sought to strike a tougher tone on North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang's latest weapons tests, which included a failed missile test this month.

In recent weeks, Washington has expressed mounting concerns at Kim Jong-un's ambitions to develop nuclear warheads capable of striking the USA mainland.

The unusual briefing underlines the urgency with which the Mr Trump administration is treating the threat posed by Pyongyang's continuing development of nuclear weapons and missile technology.

North Korean state media said on Sunday the country's forces were "combat-ready to sink" the Carl Vinson. China banned coal imports from North Korea in February as part of sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

Entire US Senate called to White House for North Korea briefing