North Korea brands Trump a 'warmonger'

North Korea brands Trump a 'warmonger'

 North Korea lashed out on Saturday at Donald Trump's "warmonger's" tour of Asia as the US president landed in Hanoi on the latest leg of a five-nation regional visit to drum up support against Pyongyang's nuclear weapons build-up.

The outburst came as Trump nears the tail end of his sweep through Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines that has seen him rail against North Korea's nuclear ambitions and deliver his "America First" vision of global trade.

Trump has urged the region to take a united front against the threat posed by isolated North Korea, which has sparked global alarm with its nuclear and missile tests in recent months.

On Friday, he warned world leaders gathered in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang that the Asia-Pacific region "must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies".

Pyongyang issued its own retort on Saturday branding Trump's Asia tour a "warmonger's visit for confrontation to rid the DPRK (North Korea) of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence", in the first comments on the trip by a North Korean official.

It said Trump's warnings "can never frighten us or put a stop to our advance", according to the state-run KCNA news agency, quoting a Pyongyang foreign ministry spokesman.

Tensions over North Korea's weapons programme have surged in recent months, as Pyongyang carried out a sixth nuclear test - by far its largest to date - and test-fired dozens of missiles, some capable of reaching the US mainland.

In a speech to the South Korean parliament on Wednesday, Trump warned Pyongyang not to underestimate the US, while offering leader Kim Jong-Un a better future if he gives up his nuclear ambitions.

Trump has also prodded Chinese President Xi Jinping to pile pressure on North Korea.

"I'd like to have him ratchet it up, and I think he's doing that," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Hanoi Saturday.

Though China has backed UN sanctions, Washington would like to see Beijing clamp down on unauthorised trade along the North Korean border.

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