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  1. ITV Report

Donald Trump says North Korea is 'looking for trouble' as tensions rise

North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear programme in breach of UN sanctions. Credit: AP

Donald Trump has said that North Korea is "looking for trouble" as simmering tensions between the two states continued to heat up following a US show of might in the region.

Mr Trump warned he was "willing to solve the problem" of the rogue state alone in messages posted on Twitter.

He has been trying to convince regional power China into taking a leading role on pressuring North Korea into halting its nuclear programme.

Mr Trump's administration has suggested they will offer China a better trade deal if it takes firm steps against North Korea, but Beijing has so far committed to only modest action.

North Korea warned earlier today that they were "ready to react to any kind of war that the US wants" as the rhetoric between the two states heated up.

Officials criticised the "reckless" US decision to send battleships into nearby waters ahead of annual war games with the state's neighbour South Korea - an event that always provokes a furious response from the North.

Mr Trump tried to persuade Chinese leader Xi Jinping to take firm action against North Korea. Credit: AP

Tensions are higher than usual after Mr Trump's administration bombed a Syrian airfield and warned they were ready to take action against other states that violate international rules.

Those remarks seemed to target North Korea, which has continued to progress with a nuclear programme despite UN sanctions.

Beijing, the key player in the region, today exerted economic pressure on the highly isolated state by turning back coal imports, according to Reuters.

However the US is trying to push for stronger action in an effort to intimidate North Korea into falling into line.

Meanwhile Mr Trump has threatened unilateral action alone - but has not specified what form that might take.