Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:
- Military probes possible friendly fire in deaths of two U.S. service members in Afghanistan
- Trump signs executive order that could open California coast to drilling
- House okays one-week stopgap measure to avert shutdown
- GOP shutting out doctors, Democrats in effort to resuscitate healthcare overhaul
- Sanctuary cities get legal boost from conservative Supreme Court rulings
- Two American troops killed in Afghanistan near site where U.S. dropped mega bomb
North Korea threatened merciless consequences to U.S. provocations on Friday, while China warned the two countries to avoid continuing talk of military conflict.
A statement from the Korean People’s Army, released through the state news agency KCNA, said President Trump had “entered the path of open threat and blackmail” against North Korea.
Officials in Pyongyang said the country would “ruthlessly ravage” the U.S. if Washington opted for an attack in response to a North Korean weapons test. Counteractions would occur “in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive,” the army statement said.
The comments follow warnings from the Trump administration that it could take military action against North Korea’s growing nuclear ambitions. The U.S. last weekend redirected an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula.
The isolated nation is celebrating the 105th birthday on Saturday of its first leader, Kim Il Sun. Analysts say the country appears to be preparing a missile launch or nuclear test that may coincide with the anniversary.
China on Friday sought to simmer the flaring tensions. Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters no one would win in a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea.
“Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple loss,” he said.
Wang, in keeping with China’s preferences, encouraged dialog. “It can be official or unofficial, through one channel or dual channels, bilateral or multilateral,” he said. “China is willing to give support to all of them.”
China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, worries a collapse of the government in Pyongyang would lead to a refugee crisis on its shared border and eliminate the buffer zone between China and U.S. forces stationed in South Korea.
Wang warned conflict could break out “at any moment,” and cautioned the two countries from going down an “irreversible route.”