May 1, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jee Abbey Lee reporting.

President Donald Trump says he "would not be happy" if North Korea conducts another nuclear test.

In an interview with CBS, he said he believes Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be happy about the North's provocations, either.

Asked if "not happy" with another Pyongyang nuclear test meant he would undertake "military action" against the regime, Trump declined to clarify.

"I just don't want to discuss it. And I think you know me very well, where you've asked me many times over the last couple of years about military. I said, 'We shouldn't be announcing we're going into Mosul.' I said, 'We shouldn't be announcing all our moves.' It is a chess game. I just don't want people to know what my thinking is."

North Korea is trying to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland 9,000 kilometers away. It conducted a new missile test Saturday, but South Korea said it once again failed.

At least eight people have died as tornadoes and storms swept through the southern U.S. states of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi.

East Texas was worst hit, with a series of tornadoes there killing at least four people and leaving a trail of what officials called "extensive damage."

In neighboring Arkansas, at least two people are dead and two missing.

The Missouri Highway Patrol says a 72-year-old woman drowned as her vehicle was swept away by rushing waters Saturday.

In Mississippi, one person was reported dead after a tree fell on a house.

Turkish media reports say the Iranian owner of a leading Farsi-language satellite TV network has been shot dead in Istanbul along with another man.

Saeed Karimian, the owner of GEM TV, was gunned down late Saturday.

This is VOA news.

The White House on Sunday defended President Donald Trump's invitation to his Philippine counterpart to visit Washington.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the need to fortify an Asian alliance against North Korea's growing military threat outweighed concerns about President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly domestic crackdown on drug trafficking.

"I'm not so sure it's a matter of honoring this president or any of the facts that you've laid out there, it's really a matter of a potential for nuclear and massive destruction in Asia and the potential, at least according to North Korea, of developing an ICBM that could, at some point down the line if we do nothing, potentially reach the United States."

Priebus emphasized North Korea is the biggest threat in the Asia-Pacific region at the moment.

He was speaking in an interview with ABC news, which came a day after the White House announced the invitation.

Eight Syrian rescuers, known as the White Helmets, were killed Saturday when an airstrike hit their office in the rebel-held Hama province.

It was unclear who had carried out the attack. The Syrian army, backed by Russia and Iran in the six-year-old war, has been making a push in recent weeks to regain rebel-held areas including the Hama province.

U.S. Marines have returned to Afghanistan's southern Helmand province three years after NATO ended its combat mission in the country.

Marines and NATO forces attended a ceremony Saturday marking the handover of the Helmand command in the restive province.

Staff Sergeant George Caldwell: "I was excited to come back because, you know, I have a lot of time invested in Helmand province. You know, we have many, many years of combat operations and we'd hate to see the region become unstable."

Instead of fighting this time, the Marines have been tapped to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces for struggling to drive out the Taliban insurgents.

Their return comes a day after the Taliban announced a launch of its spring offensive against Afghan forces.

Famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck was killed Sunday in a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest in Nepal.

It was not clear how the 40-year-old died but he was planning to climb 8,850-meter Mount Everest and a nearby mountain next month.

He was the first casualty in the spring mountaineering season in Nepal that began in March and will end in May.

His body has been recovered from the site and has been sent to Lukla, where the only airport in the Mount Everest area is located.

I'm Jee Abbey Lee in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.