SUM­MIT FO­CUSED ON NORTH KOREA

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - BY BILL GERTZ

Ten­sions re­main high in North­east Asia fol­low­ing the dis­patch of a U.S. air­craft car­rier strike group to waters near the Korean Penin­sula and signs that Py­ongyang is pre­par­ing for an­other un­der­ground nu­clear test.

The de­ploy­ment of the car­rier USS Carl Vin­son fol­lowed the sum­mit last week in Florida be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping where North Korea was the ma­jor topic of dis­cus­sion.

Both lead­ers ex­changed views on their as­sess­ment of the prob­lem, but “there was mu­tual agree­ment the prob­lem has be­come more ur­gent,” a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion tells In­side the Ring.

High­light­ing the grow­ing dan­gers, Army Gen. Vin­cent Brooks, com­man­der of U.S. Forces Korea, can­celed a sched­uled ap­pear­ance be­fore Congress this week be­cause of the height­ened ten­sions.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi re­newed a com­mit­ment to fully im­ple­ment U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions call­ing for the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula. Mr. Trump also em­pha­sized that the United States will not ac­cept a de facto nu­clear state in North Korea.

The pres­i­dent also point­edly told Mr. Xi that he is pre­pared to re­solve the North Korean threat — uni­lat­er­ally if need be.

“We did talk about the fact the U.S. will be in­creas­ing pres­sure on North Korea — with or with­out help from other coun­tries,” the of­fi­cial said.

The prospect of U.S. mil­i­tary ac­tion against North Korea is some­thing Mr. Xi and the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment fear most. The threat of U.S. ac­tion was driven home to all the Chi­nese present at the Mar-a-Lago re­sort when Mr. Trump or­dered a salvo of 59 cruise mis­siles on a Syr­ian air­field linked to a chem­i­cal weapons at­tack.

The tim­ing of the Syria bomb­ing was a clear sig­nal to China that Mr. Trump, un­like his pre­de­ces­sor, is pre­pared to use Amer­i­can mil­i­tary power de­spite cam­paign­ing on “Amer­ica First” poli­cies.

An­a­lysts say avert­ing U.S. mil­i­tary ac­tion in Asia is among the high­est pri­or­i­ties of China’s lead­er­ship. Bei­jing’s main strate­gic ob­jec­tive to­ward the United States is con­strain­ing what it re­gards as the de­clin­ing U.S. su­per­power that it be­lieves poses a dan­ger to China.

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