The US President is deploying an “armada” into the Sea of Japan in response to Kim’s nuclear threat, and is reportedly assessing a number of military options.
As the situation develops Express.co.uk brings you the latest news and live updates 24/7.
Saturday April 15
2.19am BST: Celebrations for Kim Jong-un’s grandfather Kim Il-sung, who founded the communist state of North Korea, have begun in Pyongyang.
Footage of the celebrations, know as the “Day of the Sun”, have emerged showing soldiers standing to attention in a military parade in the capital.
Experts fear Kim Jong-un may launch a nuclear test as part of the celebrations.
Friday April 14
10pm BST: Air China denies it has cancelled all flights to Pyongyang amid claims China is taking a tough line on North Korea.
The airline says it has suspended some flights to the North Korean capital due to poor demand.
A spokesman for Air China said: “Air China did not stop operation of the Beijing to Pyongyang route, but temporarily cancelled some flights based on the situation of ticket sales.”
China is North Korea's sole major ally but it disapproves of the North's weapons programmes, and its confrontations with the United States and its Asian allies, and it has supported UN sanctions against it.
Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on February 26, cutting off the country's most important export product.
9.30pm BST: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi have discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula in a phone cally, Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers also discussed the schedule of bilateral contacts.
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8.20pm BST: China has warned North Korea and the US to stop the situation from reaching an “irreversible and unmanageable stage” as a US aircraft carrier group steams towards the region amid fears North Korea may conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test.
According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, foreign minister, Wang Yi, said: “The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering.
“We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats, whether through words or deeds, and don’t push the situation to the point where it can’t be turned around and gets out of hand.
“No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this.”
7.50pm BST: Former secretary of Defence Leon Panetta issued a stark warning to Donald Trump, not to further escalate the conflict.
Mr Panetta told NBC News: “The words from the administration are creating even higher volume in terms of the provocations that are going on. I think we have got to be careful here.”
“We should not engage in any precipitous action. There is a reason no U.S. president in recent history has pulled the trigger on North Korea.”
He added: “We have the potential for a nuclear war that would take millions of lives. So I think we have got to exercise some care here.”
5.30pm BST: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi ominously warned “storm clouds are gathering” in the North Korean-US standoff.
“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering,” Mr Yi said in Beijing.
The minister urged both sides of the conflict to halt mutual provocations and threats before things “get out of hand”.
He added: “No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this.”
4.00pm BST: China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has reiterated calls for North Korea to back away from the brink of nuclear war.
Speaking in Beijing he spoke of a “precarious situation” in which “one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment”.
“We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not to let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage,” Wang said, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.
“If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner. It is not the one who espouses harsher rhetoric or raises a bigger fist that will win.”
2.45pm BST: North Korea’s vice foreign minister has said that Pyongyang is ready to start a nuclear war “at any moment”.
Vice minister Han Song Ryol said in Pyongyang the country was ready to use its “powerful nuclear deterrent” if President Trump continues to provoke North Korea.
He said: “We will go to war if they choose.
“If the US come with reckless military manoeuvres then we will confront it with the DPRK’s preemptive strike.
“We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a US preemptive strike.”
Secretive images of North Korea's drone program
Fri, April 14, 2017
Is this a never before seen look at NK's drone program? Exclusive images capture military personnel landing a drone on North Korea's highway in 2015.
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Is this a never before seen look at North Korea's drone program
1.30pm BST: Air China flights between Beijing and Pyongyang will be suspended from Monday, Chinese state media has said.
The move comes as covert photographs taken in July 2015 reveal what appear to be spy drones which over see North Korea’s nuclear programme.
The images were taken on the Reunification Highway and Kaesong near the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea.
Eyewitnesses said they were stunned when their bus was stopped so a drone could land in front of them.
11.00am BST: Donald Trump’s White House is reportedly assessing different military options to deal with Kim Jong-un amid warnings that a nuclear weapons test from North Korea is imminent.
North Korea’s vice foreign minister has said that a test will come “whenever the supreme headquarters sees fit”, and a top US official has said that is a question of “if, it’s when”.
Han Song Ryol said the situation on the Korean peninsula is now in a “vicious cycle” and also accused President Trump of “making trouble” with “aggressive” tweets.
He said: "Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words.
"It's not the DPRK but the US and Trump that makes trouble."
China has reiterated its plea for a peaceful resolution to the tension between Washington and Pyongyang.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi suggested he would rather see diplomacy than the use of military force.
He said: "Military force cannot resolve the issue. "Amid tensions we will also find a kind of opportunity to return to talks.
"Whoever provokes the situation, whoever continues to make trouble in this place, they will have to assume historical responsibility.”
Kim Jong-un will reportedly launch a nuclear weapon test imminently
Thursday April 13
10.31pm BST: The GBU-43, also known as the "mother of all bombs," is a GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003.
It is regarded as particularly effective against clusters of targets on or just underneath the ground. Other types of bombs can be more effective against deeper, hardened tunnels.
It was the first time the United States has used this size of conventional bomb in a conflict.
Trump described the bombing as a "very successful mission." It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.
8.45pm BST: President Donald Trump touted the bombing as evidence of a more muscular U.S. foreign policy since he took office in January after eight years of President Barack Obama.
"If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what's happened over the last eight years, you'll see that there's a tremendous difference," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
Donald Trump is reportedly looking at military options to address the North Korea threat
6.45pm BST: The US military just demonstrated its destructive power by dropping a MOAB bomb in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb is an impressive explosive capable of levelling land around it.
The bomb is one of the most powerful weapons possessed by the US army, bar none but the atomic bomb.
General John W. Nicholson of the US Central Command said in a statement: “As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense.”
He added: “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.
This bomb was used against ISIS targets in Afghanistan but serves as a reminder of America’s tremendous military power.
4.45pm BST: Despite the growing tension in the region, the North Korean regime is preparing for the nation's most important holiday – the 105th anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il-sung.
More than 100,000 people were spotted in the centre of Pyongyang today, in the run-up to the national holiday on Saturday.
A large scale military parade is expected to march down the streets of the capital on the day.
Satellite images show Kim Jong-un escalating nuclear action
Wed, April 12, 2017
New satellite images show in great detail how Kim Jong-un is escalating North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
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Figure 1. Activity continues at the North Portal
3pm BST: Donald Trump has said that Nato is “no longer obsolete”, reversing his previous position on the military alliance.
The US President hosted Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House on April 12 for a “productive discussion about what more Nato can do in the fight against terrorism”.
If Kim Jong-un were to attack the US, any retaliation would be backed by the 27 other Nato states under Article V of the North American Treaty.
Mr Trump also tweeted today: "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A."
Noon BST: More than half of American’s feel concerned about the way Donald Trump is handling the North Korean crisis – a CBS poll has revealed.
Respondents were questioned about how they felt Mr Trump was dealing with the situation and 56 per cent said they felt “uneasy” about his capabilities.
Only 39 per cent of the questioned people felt “confident” in the US president.
Mr Trump is currently busy consulting international leaders about the situation and has sought advice from China – a long time North Korean ally.
11.15am BST: After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that North Korea could fire a chemical weapon toward Japan, figures have revealed that Abe’s military scrambled a record number of fighter jets in the past 12 months amid sharply escalating tensions with China.
The Japanese Air Self Defence Force said fighter jets had been scrambled 1,168 times in the 12 months up to the end of March this year.
The overall figure is a sharp rise compared to the preceding 12 months when jets were deployed 873 times.
The previous high was 944 times back in 1984.
10.00am BST: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that Kim Jong-un could launch a sarin gas attack in the style of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Assad reportedly killed 89 citizens – including children – with a chemical weapons attack in Syria last week. He has denied responsibility.
Mr Abe told Japan’s parliament this morning: “There is a possibility North Korea already has a capability to deliver missiles with sarin as warheads.”
8.00am BST: Kim Jong-un has been pictured at the opening of a flagship housing project in Pyongyang as fears grow over his nuclear ambitions.
The despot leader cut the ribbon at the Ryomyong Street development, a collection of residential tower blocks including nearly 5,000 apartments.
It stands near the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of Kim’s father Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim Il-sung lie in state.
North Korean Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju praised Kim, who has built a cult of personality in his communist hermit state.
“I would like to express the greatest thanks in the name of the people and the army to great leader comrade Kim Jong-Un, who wisely led this construction to victory,” Pak said.
“The project was a demonstration of "the 'do or die' spirit of our people and army who are willing to implement the Party's orders in all cases and a victory against imperialists' sanctions.”