China de­fends N Korea ef­forts, af­ter Trump out­burst

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

China de­fended its “re­lent­less ef­forts” to re­solve the North Korea nu­clear is­sue yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a Twit­ter out­burst from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, as Py­ongyang claimed to have tested an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile. The US pres­i­dent has piled pres­sure on China to use its diplo­matic and eco­nomic clout over North Korea, its Com­mu­nist ally, to per­suade Py­ongyang to stop its nu­clear and mis­sile ac­tiv­i­ties. China’s for­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press brief­ing that its con­tri­bu­tion was well rec­og­nized-de­scrib­ing its role as “in­dis­pens­able” af­ter Trump called on China to take more ac­tion on North Korea.

“Per­haps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this non­sense once and for all!” tweeted Trump, who will meet with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at the G20 sum­mit in Ger­many later this week. “China has made re­lent­less ef­forts for the set­tle­ment of the Korean penin­sula nu­clear is­sue. China’s con­tri­bu­tion in this re­gard is well rec­og­nized, and its role is in­dis­pens­able,” Geng said. Geng said China was fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments closely af­ter North Korean tele­vi­sion an­nounced that leader Kim Jong-Un had over­seen the “land­mark” test of a Hwa­song-14 mis­sile, which reached an al­ti­tude of 2,802 kilo­me­ters and flew 933 kilo­me­ters.

“China op­poses the DPRK breach­ing UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions to con­duct launch ac­tiv­i­ties,” the spokesman said, us­ing the ini­tials of North Korea’s of­fi­cial name. “We hope all rel­e­vant par­ties can ex­er­cise re­straint, avoid tak­ing ac­tions that may es­ca­late ten­sions, and make ef­forts to bring the is­sue back to peace­ful set­tle­ment through di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion,” Geng said. On a trip to Moscow, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin agreed on Mon­day to “jointly push for a proper set­tle­ment of the (Korean) penin­sula is­sue via di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion”, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency.

‘Neg­a­tive fac­tors’

China’s re­sponse to Trump’s tweet comes as ten­sions be­tween the su­per­pow­ers have resur­faced in re­cent days, break­ing from a friend­lier at­mos­phere that emerged af­ter Trump met Xi at the US leader’s Florida re­sort in April. Trump warned about “the grow­ing threat” posed by North Korea dur­ing a phone call with Xi on Mon­day, while the Chi­nese leader said Sino-US re­la­tions were hit by “neg­a­tive fac­tors”.

China an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary the sus­pen­sion of coal im­ports from North Korea for the rest of the year, a cru­cial cur­rency earner for Py­ongyang. The to­tal value of all im­ports from North Korea fell to $721.5 mil­lion be­tween Jan­uary and May from $773.6 mil­lion over the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese of­fi­cial fig­ures. But Trump has urged Bei­jing to do more and last week his ad­min­is­tra­tion took steps that in­fu­ri­ated the Asian su­per­power.

The US Trea­sury Depart­ment slapped sanc­tions on China’s Bank of Dan­dong for al­legedly laun­der­ing North Korean cash and it ac­cused a Chi­nese ship­ping com­pany of smug­gling banned lux­ury goods into the coun­try. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion also au­tho­rized a $1.3 bil­lion arms sales to Tai­wan and placed China on a list of the world’s worst hu­man traf­fick­ing of­fend­ers. China has pressed for the re­sump­tion of six-party ne­go­ti­a­tions with North Korea that have been dor­mant since 2009. Bei­jing pro­poses a “dual-track ap­proach” in which Py­ongyang would sus­pend its nu­clear and mis­sile ac­tiv­i­ties while the United States and South Korea would halt largescale mil­i­tary ex­er­cises. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.