Spicer says White House will host North Korea briefing for Senate

North Korea, meanwhile, held live-fire military drills to mark the anniversary of the founding of its military.

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

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it could not immediately confirm the report.

Washington has become increasingly concerned at North Korean missile and nuclear tests and threats to its neighbours and the US.

The ruling Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun called the carrier a "gross animal".

Tensions have soared in recent months as North Korean missile tests have brought ever-more bellicose warnings from US President Donald Trump's administration.

The USS Carl Vinson and its carrier strike group are also expected to arrive at the Korean Peninsula in the next few days, which now not only comes amid speculation about a test, but also the Senate meeting.

On Tuesday, a missile-armed United States submarine arrived in South Korea, on its way to join the other warships. "And if China and North Korea both believe that President Trump will never allow that to happen, then you have a chance to peacefully solve this", he said.

"China has been very, very helpful in this process and continues to be".


The state department appeared unaware on Monday that Mr Tillerson would be delivering the briefing.

In what Reuters and Fox News call a "rare" move, four top officials in President Trump's administration will brief the entire US Senate on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a third USA citizen was detained Friday by North Korean authorities as he was about to leave the country.

"The reality of today again proves the decision to strengthen nuclear power in quality and quantity under the banner of pursuing economic development and nuclear power was the correct one", the unidentified spokesman said in a statement issued by the North's state media.

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 USA would end a policy of strategic patience - and the United States appears to be inching closer to a serious armed conflict that could escalate and rope in other global players very quickly.

A senior Trump administration official said the meeting with senators will take place in the auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the building next to the White House that houses most of the National Security Council.

That's no joke. In fact, the Washington Examiner reported that February Nielsen data showed Spicer's press briefings on cable news beating network soap operas running at the same time, delivering an average of 4.3 million viewers and a 10 percent audience growth from what would otherwise have been running on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Xi told Trump that China strongly opposed North Korea's nuclear weapons program and hoped "all parties will exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation", according to Chinese broadcaster CCTV.

The guided-missile submarine can carry over 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles and deploy up to 66 Navy SEALs.

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