Jim Mattis refutes claims over differences with Donald Trump on North Korea

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"We're not talking to the North Koreans right now", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said sanctions alone "cannot fundamentally resolve the issue", amid reports the three countries were pushing for new restrictions on North Korean oil imports and foreign workers.

"We continue to work together, and the minister and I share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nations, our populations and our interests", he said. The U.S. and South Korean warplanes then flew across the Korean Peninsula and participated in the live-fire training before returning to their respective home stations, according to the Pacific Command.

"This reckless act of launching a missile that flies over our country is an unprecedented, serious and important threat". Making a highly hard intercept of North Korean missiles would be a tough call because failure would seriously dent the credibility of the expensive USA missile defense system.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia and Chinese Ambassador Liu Jiey carried the common line of their counties on North Korea to avoid any actions that may increase tensions. North Korea threatened earlier this month to fire a salvo of Hwasong-12s - the same missile it sent over Japan on Tuesday - to create "enveloping fire" near Guam. "North Korea will try to do the same with midrange ballistic missile launches in the Pacific, making them part of the new normal".

"North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilising actions will be met accordingly", said General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces Commander, who made an unscheduled visit to Japan.

The Security Council demanded North Korea not to proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology and comply with relevant Security Council resolutions, said the statement, which was released after closed-door consultations by council members.

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US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to condemn Pyongyang, writing "the US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years".

Their effectiveness hinges largely on China, which accounts for 90% of trade with North Korea but is suspected of failing to enforce past United Nations measures.

But Hwang Ildo, a professor at Seoul's Korea National Diplomatic Academy, disagrees, saying North Korea probably won't risk infuriating the United States.

The U.S. military frequently responds to North Korean actions with a show-of-force display of its attack aircraft.

He said the situation will be explosive when North Korea has the means to strike not only Japan and China but also the United States and even Europe.

This photo, taken on August 2, 2017, shows citizens visiting Imjingak in the South Korean border city of Paju near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.

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