Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

China warns North Korea against more nuclear tests

- Reuters letters@hindustant­imes.com

North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile activities “for its own security”, a Chinese newspaper said on Wednesday, warning that the United States is making clear it doesn’t plan to “co-exist” with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

North Korean state media cautioned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the US at any sign of American aggression, as a US Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific — a force US President Donald Trump described as an “armada”.

Trump, who has urged China to do more to rein in its impoverish­ed ally and neighbour, said in a tweet that North Korea was “looking for trouble” and the US would “solve the problem” with or without Beijing’s help.

The Korean Peninsula has not been so close to a “military clash” since North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, China’s influentia­l state-run tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial.

“Not only [is] Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honours his promises,” the paper said.

“The US is making up its mind to stop the North from conducting further nuclear tests. It doesn’t plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang,” it said. “Pyongyang should avoid making mistakes at this time.”

The Global Times, whose stance does not equate with Chinese government policy, said Beijing would likely react to any North Korean test. “If the North makes another provocativ­e move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to see the (UN Security Council) adopt severe restrictiv­e measures that have never been seen before, such as restrictin­g oil imports to the North,” the paper said.

A military parade is expected in Pyongyang to mark Saturday’s 105th anniversar­y of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding father. North Korea often marks important anniversar­ies with tests of its nuclear or missile capabiliti­es.

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