US warns North Korea that diplomatic window is closing

President Donald Trump walks to board Air Force One for a trip to Poland and Germany, Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is warning that North Korea is “quickly closing off” the prospect of a diplomatic resolution to its nuclear provocations.

The Trump administration has launched a government-wide effort to identify options for confronting Pyongyang following its unprecedented intercontinental ballistic missile launch. President Donald Trump and other senior officials have dangled the prospect of punishing countries that trade with North Korea — a threat aimed directly at China, Pyongyang’s biggest benefactor.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump questioned why the U.S. should continue what he sees as bad trade deals “with countries that do not help us.”

Some administration officials are still holding out hope of persuading China to ratchet up economic pressure on Pyongyang, despite Trump’s increasingly pessimistic attitude toward Beijing.

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