Entire US Senate to go to White House for briefing on North Korea

US President Donald Trump (right) speaks next to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 7, 2017.
US President Donald Trump (right) speaks next to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday (April 26) at the White House for the entire US Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said on Monday.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.

While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.

US officials have expressed mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

President Donald Trump criticised North Korea's "continued belligerence" and said its actions were destabilising during a telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House said.

The briefing will take place at 3 p.m. EDT (3am Thursday Singapore time). House aides said they were working with the White House to set a similar briefing for members of the House of Representatives.