Entire US Senate to go to White House for North Korea briefing

Posted April 26, 2017

The entire US Senate will go to the White House on Wednesday to be briefed by senior administration officials about the brewing confrontation with North Korea.

The image of senators meeting with Trump at the White House on a top national security concern could be touted by the White House as a key moment in the run-up to Trump's first 100 days in office - a milestone the president has mocked in recent days but that his administration is working aggressively to promote.

The Senate doesn't get briefed by four top administration officials at the White House unless there is an urgent crisis brewing.

Chinese imports from North Korea fell 35 percent month-on-month in March, according to official figures released Tuesday, after Beijing suspended coal purchases to punish its nuclear-armed neighbour for missile tests.

Fresh off the heels of a two-week, public-funded recess, all 100 senators have been requested at the White House for a briefing on the unfolding events on the Korean Peninsula.

Reuters reported that the House of Representatives will also seek a briefing on the DPRK. He stayed on message - he was in front of the cameras to apologize, he came across as very honest, and he showed, and possibly learned, that is it OK in Washington to admit you are human and are flawed.

Senate aides were unsure of the goal of using the White House as a venue, speculating it could be symbolic and meant to show Mr Trump's seriousness or to showcase an assertive president as he approaches 100 days in office. While North Korea has in the past staged nuclear or missile tests to mark the day, this year it conducted a major live-fire exercise.

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"That is their meeting, so we're not there to talk strategy".

Some senators planning to attend said they would welcome hearing from the commander in chief directly about North Korea, which analysts believe is preparing for a sixth nuclear test. This would quickly do massive damage to South Korea, and inflict large numbers of casualties on USA forces in the region.

The conversations involving the president about North Korea took place as a U.S. Navy strike force, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, is approaching the Sea of Japan, off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.

Trump and USA officials have repeatedly said all options remain "on the table" to deal with further North Korean provocations.

Trump and Abe agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions. North Korea is a big world problem, and its a problem we have to finally solve. China banned coal imports from North Korea in February as part of sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

"Our military is closely monitoring the North Korean military's movement in Wonsan areas and we are firmly maintaining readiness", South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.