Trump discusses N. Korea with top officials

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 8, 2017 - 09:31
  • Updated : Aug 8, 2017 - 09:31
WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump discussed North Korea with two of his top officials on Monday as tensions rose over the communist country's missile and nuclear programs.

Trump had an hour-long phone call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly to talk about North Korea and Tillerson's ongoing trip to Southeast Asia, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, according to a pool report. Details of the discussion were not immediately available.

US President Donald Trump on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Jan. 28, 2017. (AP-Yonhap)

Hours earlier, North Korea vowed to retaliate against the US for the UN Security Council's adoption Saturday of fresh sanctions against the country.

It threatened to respond with "far bigger actions to make the US pay a price."

The sanctions were pushed by the US in response to the North's test-launches of two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. The missiles, according to Pyongyang and many experts, have the range to strike the US mainland.

Tillerson urged Pyongyang to stop its missile launches if it wants to hold talks with Washington.

When the conditions are right, the two sides can sit and discuss the future of North Korea "so that they feel secure and prosper economically," he told reporters in Manila earlier Monday.

The UN sanctions aim to slash North Korea's annual export revenue by a third. They include a ban on North Korea's exports of coal, iron and seafood.

Trump hailed their adoption on Saturday.

By Monday afternoon, he apparently felt the issue wasn't getting enough coverage.

"The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!" he tweeted. (Yonhap)