Trump will not let China ‘do noth­ing’ on N Korea

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump warned Satur­day that he would not al­low China to “do noth­ing” on North Korea, af­ter the her­mit state launched an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile it boasted could reach the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un boasted of his coun­try’s abil­ity to strike any tar­get in the US af­ter the ICBM test that weapons ex­perts said could even bring New York into range-in a ma­jor chal­lenge to Trump.

Un­der Kim’s lead­er­ship, North Korea has ac­cel­er­ated its drive to­wards a cred­i­ble nu­clear strike ca­pa­bil­ity, in de­fi­ance of in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion and mul­ti­ple sets of UN sanc­tions. In his cri­tique of Bei­jing, which came in two tweets, Trump linked trade strains with the Asian gi­ant­marked by a trade deficit of $309 bil­lion last yearto pol­icy on North Korea, af­ter South Korea in­di­cated it was speed­ing the de­ploy­ment of a US mis­sile de­fense sys­tem that has in­fu­ri­ated China.

“I am very dis­ap­pointed in China. Our fool­ish past lead­ers have al­lowed them to make hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars a year in trade, yet they do NOTH­ING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Trump wrote. “We will no longer al­low this to con­tinue. China could eas­ily solve this prob­lem!” Trump, who is at log­ger­heads with Bei­jing over how to han­dle Kim’s regime, has re­peat­edly urged China to rein in its re­cal­ci­trant neigh­bor, but Bei­jing in­sists di­a­logue is the only prac­ti­cal way for­ward.

The tweet storm co­in­cided with a bi­lat­eral mis­sion led by US strate­gic bombers on Satur­day that flew over the Korean Penin­sula in a pointed show of force in re­sponse to the lat­est ICBM tests. US B-1B bombers along with fighter jets from the South Korean and Ja­panese air forces par­tic­i­pated in the 10-hour bi­lat­eral mis­sion, prac­tic­ing in­ter­cept and for­ma­tion drills “North Korea re­mains the most ur­gent threat to re­gional sta­bil­ity,” said Gen­eral Ter­rence O’Shaugh­nessy, Pa­cific Air Forces com­man­der, in a state­ment. “If called upon, we are ready to re­spond with rapid, lethal, and over­whelm­ing force at a time and place of our choos­ing.”

US ‘within strik­ing range’

Kim said the test “is meant to send a grave warn­ing to the US” and demon­strated the North’s abil­ity to launch “at any place and time,” the of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) said. The “leader said proudly the test also con­firmed all the US main­land is within our strik­ing range,” it said. Trump de­nounced the launch as “reck­less and dan­ger­ous” and re­jected Py­ongyang’s claims that such tests helped en­sure its se­cu­rity.

He vowed to take “all nec­es­sary steps to en­sure the se­cu­rity of the Amer­i­can home­land and pro­tect our al­lies in the re­gion.” Weapons ex­perts said the alti­tude and flight time of Fri­day’s mis­sile sug­gested it was sig­nif­i­cantly more pow­er­ful than the earlier July 4 test, with a the­o­ret­i­cal range of around 6,200 miles (10,000 kilo­me­ters) mean­ing it might be able to reach east coast US cities like New York, de­pend­ing on the pay­load size.

In­ter­na­tional re­sponse

Ja­panese For­eign Min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida said he held tele­phone talks with US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son and agreed on the need to put “the heav­i­est pos­si­ble pres­sure” on North Korea. “We con­firmed that we will closely co­op­er­ate in adopt­ing a fresh UNSC (UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil) res­o­lu­tion, in­clud­ing se­vere mea­sures, and work­ing on China and Rus­sia,” Kishida told re­porters.

In a stan­dard re­sponse to the test, Bei­jing urged re­straint by all sides, af­ter the US and South Korea con­ducted a live-fire ex­er­cise us­ing sur­face-to-sur­face mis­siles. The heads of the US and South Korean mil­i­taries also dis­cussed “mil­i­tary re­sponse op­tions” af­ter North Korea’s launch, the Pen­tagon said.

China, Py­ongyang’s main eco­nomic and diplo­matic ally, op­poses any mil­i­tary intervention and calls for a res­o­lu­tion through di­a­logue. The US mil­i­tary will also roll out “strate­gic as­sets” to the South fol­low­ing the North’s mis­sile test late Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to South Korean de­fense min­is­ter Song Young-Moo. Song de­clined to spec­ify the na­ture of the mo­bi­liza­tion, but the phrase usu­ally refers to high-pro­file weapons sys­tems, such as stealth bombers and air­craft car­ri­ers. — AFP

BRENT­WOOD, New York: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks at Suf­folk Com­mu­nity Col­lege. — AFP

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