“North Korea is a problem,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. “The problem will be taken care of.”
Which prompted North Korea's rebuke of US President Trump's "aggressive words," overnight.
Both China (“The situation now is similar to the time before a storm, and this kind of dangerous situation worth of our attention and we must be alert,”) and Russia (watching the developments around North Korea with "great concern") have weighed in on the increasingly tense saber-rattling occurring between the two nations.
As Bloomberg reports, China warned that a war on the Korean Peninsula would have devastating consequences and "one has the feeling that a war could break out at any moment."
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all parties “to stop provoking and threatening each other and not to make the situation irretrievable," seemingly fearful that the next step could make war (world-inclusive) inevitable.
“No matter who the nation is, if it continues to provoke wars in the Peninsula, it has to bear this historical responsibility and pay its price.”
“Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but losing all round and no one could become a winner,” Wang told reporters in Beijing on Friday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
These concerns were echoed by a senior Russian lawmaker who, as AP reports, says the US is a greater threat to global peace than North Korea...
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said Friday "the most alarming thing about the current U.S. administration is that you can't be sure if it is bluffing or really going to implement its threats."
He says "America objectively poses a greater threat to peace than North Korea," adding that "the entire world is scared and left guessing if it strikes or not."
Kosachev says there is a "small hope" that President Donald Trump's administration would listen to warnings from Russia and China not to use military force against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence heads to Asia on a 10-day trip that will include South Korea. Pence plans to celebrate Easter with U.S. and Korean troops on Sunday before talks on Monday with acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.
"We're going to consult with the Republic of Korea on North Korea's efforts to advance its ballistic missile and its nuclear program," a White House foreign policy adviser told reporters, previewing Pence's trip. Pence will land in Seoul the day after North Korea's biggest national day, the "Day of the Sun."
The White House has contingency plans for Pence's trip should it coincide with a another North Korean nuclear test by its leader Kim Jong Un, the adviser said. "Unfortunately, it's not a new surprise for us. He continues to develop this program, he continues to launch missiles into the Sea of Japan," the adviser said.
"With the regime it's not a matter of if - it's when. We are well prepared to counter that," the adviser said.
But, with Trump's pre-emptive strike looming Damocles sword-like overhead, the world is watching North Korea as speculation mounts that Kim Jong Un’s regime will carry out a ballistic missile or nuclear test this weekend to mark the 105th birth anniversary of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder, on Saturday.