What US options are 'on the table' with North Korea?

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters he held meetings on North Korea at the weekend at his Florida resort.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Defense Ministry warned the north made "meaningful progress" in learning how to successfully launch a guided ballistic missile Sunday, though further research would be needed to determine what the latest launch test meant for the nation's nuclear operations.

Company director from North Korea said to have had business ties with Kim Jong Nam and may have given Pyongyang his travel plans, according to South Korean media. North Korea's announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended his East Asian tour, where the regime's missile programs were high on the agenda in talks with Washington's allies. Such compromises will serve only to legitimize North Korea as a nuclear power, Thae added.

Last night, the North's KCNA news agency said its new rocket engine would help the state achieve world-class satellite-launch capability, indicating a new type of rocket engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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Kim called the test the "March 18 Revolution", claiming that it marked a huge development for his country's satellite program, which he insists is for peaceful purposes.

On Saturday, the U.S. and China pledged to work together to address the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme.

The North has conducted five nuclear tests since 2006 - three under Kim Jong-un - and launched a number of missiles as it seeks to develop a weapon capable of reaching the United States mainland.

But Mr Tillerson said that by taking other steps, including sanctions, the U.S. was hopeful that North Korea could be persuaded to take a different course before it reached that point.

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North Korea continues its new practice of releasing colorful audiovisual presentations of Kim Jong Un watching ground tests of rocket hardware, presumably as a way of signaling constant progress in the development of North Korean space and missile systems.

The US alleges that these tests have been carried out in violation of the UN Security Council resolution.

North Korea then barred nine Malaysians - three diplomats and their six family members - from leaving the country, prompting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to describe the action as "hostage" taking.

Asked about the test, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis declined to speak on matters of intelligence but said, "We watch North Korea very, very carefully and we're aware of what they're doing". However, analysts have long accused Pyongyang of using the program as a covert weapons testing scheme.

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