- Donald Trump’s department of defence will carry out a first-of-its-kind missile interception test on Tuesday, with plans to shoot down a custom intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
- North Korea has tested similar missiles in recent months, and has vowed to develop an ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the US.
- Kim Jong-un’s hermit state has threatened to wipe the US “off the face of the earth” in its latest piece of war propaganda.
- Mr Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to expand sanctions against Pyongyang.
- North Korea and China: A history of their relationship
- North Korea: Will Kim Jong-un launch another nuclear weapon test?
Sunday, May 28
10.00pm: Fears North Korea could be developing a new missile system emerged after the secretive state’s official media released new images of Kim Jong-un observing a test launch.
Fresh photos in a press release for state media show the tyrant clutching binoculars surrounded by a group of Army officials as he watches a test-firing of a new anti-aircraft weapons system.
Saturday May 27
10.00pm: The US is reportedly sending a third aircraft carrier to the western Pacific in what is seen as a further warning to North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programme.
The USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join two other aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan.
9.00pm: Analysis by the Peterson Institute shows that countries that are part of ASEAN – Association of Souteast Asian Nations has indicated that trade between ASEAN and North Korea account for around 10 per cent of the communist country’s entire trade, with most of it coming from China, with that equating to $181 million per annum.
7.30pm: A defector from North Korea, former soldier, Lee So-yeon as spoken about her experiences.
She said: "I was shocked by freedom — that I didn't need permission to do anything. I couldn't believe there was hot water, hair dryers! I could vote for whomever I wanted. And all the food.”
6.00pm: The US could strike North Korea first Former US head of Pacific Command Samuel J Locklear, at a National Committee on US-China Relations event in New York City, said: “Just because it’s [a pre-emptive strike on North Korea] tragic doesn’t mean he [Donald Trump] won’t do it.
"If the national interests are high enough, and I think this is the mistake that [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un needs really to think about, if you start pressing on an issue that has to do with the survival of the United States against a nuclear attack, the tragic becomes conceivable to stop it. It could be tragic.”
4.00pm: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that the G7 has agreed to increase pressure and sanctions on North Korea.
Mr Abe said that "the threat has entered a new stage" and noted that today represents the first time that the G7 has recognised North Korea as a priority issue.
He added: “There is a danger that can spread like a contagious disease.”
2.00pm: Fox News has suggested that North Korea could launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the US.
An EMP is a short burst of energy produced by a nuclear explosion which disables computers and electronics, and such an attack could cripple financial institutions, transport networks and airplanes.
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Kim Jong-un’s regime is said to have “at least two satellites whose orbits take them routinely over the US, at precisely the altitude that is ideal for an EMP attack”.
Experts are divided as to whether an EMP is merely “something out of a James Bond movie”, or a genuine threat that should be taken seriously.
10.50am: North Korea has threatened to wipe the US “off the face of the earth”.
Kim Jong-un's regime accused Washington of spying in a newspaper article seen by Express.co.uk, and oddly warned: “Don’t dream silly dream!”
“The US is, indeed, a den of evils that should be wiped off the face of the earth as early as possible as it is openly pursuing the policy of state-sponsored terrorism by unhesitatingly resorting to hideous provocation, far from learning a lesson from the failed DPRK policy of its predecessors,” the article read.
“The US should understand that its desperate intelligence operation against the DPRK will only bring destruction to it.
“The foolhardy operations against the supreme leadership of the DPRK and its strategic facilities only bring to light the wretched plight of the US which has sustained disgraceful defeats only in the showdown with the DPRK.”
North Korea: Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Late last night, the Pentagon announced that it will launch its first ever ICBM intercept test on Tuesday from a base in California.
US military personnel will launch a custom missile meant to simulate an ICBM, which will fly faster than any projectile used in previous tests.
The exercise is not a direct response to the North Korean threat, Christopher Johnson, spokesman for the US Missile Defense Agency claimed.
“We conduct increasingly complex test scenarios as the programme matures and advances,” Mr Johnson said.
“Testing against an ICBM-type threat is the next step in that process.”
However, the test comes in the wake of two successful missile launches from North Korea, one of which flew more than 1,200 miles into space before landing just 60 miles from Russia.
Revealed: Kim Jong-un's nuclear cronies Fri, May 26, 2017
After North Korea's recent series of ballistic missile test, dictator Kim Jong-un is often photographed with the same three men
Play slideshow REUTERS 1 of 7
Kim Jong-un reacts during the long-range Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) strategic ballistic rocket test launch with Ri Pyong Chol (2nd L), Kim Jong Sik (C) and Jang Chang Ha (2nd R)
Kim Jong-un has vowed to develop a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the US, and showcased what appeared to be new ICBMs at a military parade in April.
At the G7 summit in Sicily, Donald Trump and Japan’s Shinzo Abe announced that they have pledged to work together to enhance sanctions on North Korea for its continued nuclear programme.
“President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed their teams would cooperate… including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs," the White House said in a statement.
“They also agreed to further strengthen the alliance between the United States and Japan, to further each country's capability to deter and defend against threats from North Korea.”