US urges China to “use all avail­able levers” to de­nu­cle­arise N. Korea

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump urged Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on Wed­nes­day to “use all avail­able levers” to com­pel North Korea to end provoca­tive acts and rid it­self of nu­clear weapons, the White House said.

Trump and Xi spoke by phone af­ter North Korea ear­lier Wed­nes­day test-fired what it claims is a new type of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile that could hit any­where in the United States with a nu­clear war­head.

“Pres­i­dent Trump em­pha­sised the need for China to use all avail­able levers to con­vince North Korea to end its provo­ca­tions and re­turn to the path of de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion,” the White House said in a brief state­ment.

In a Twit­ter post, Trump said the United States will im­pose “ad­di­tional ma­jor sanc­tions” on North Korea later Wed­nes­day as part of ef­forts to im­pose “max­i­mum pres­sure” on Py­ongyang in con­cert with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Xi told Trump that China up­holds the “unswerv­ing goal” of de­nu­cle­aris­ing the Korean Penin­sula, main­tain­ing the in­ter­na­tional nu­clear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion regime and pre­serv­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in North­east Asia, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency.

Xi was quoted by Xin­hua as say­ing China wants to keep up com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the United States and other regional pow­ers and jointly push the nu­clear is­sue in the di­rec­tion of peace­ful set­tle­ment via di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion.

China ac­counts for about 90 per­cent of North Korea’s to­tal trade and is a ma­jor sup­plier of oil to the coun­try, prompt­ing crit­ics to call Bei­jing an eco­nomic en­abler of Py­ongyang’s nu­clear weapons and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grams.

The United States, Ja­pan and South Korea, among other coun­tries, have urged China both to en­sure full en­force­ment of UN sanc­tions against North Korea and also do more to rein in its de­fi­ant neigh­bor.

Bei­jing op­poses Py­ongyang’s nu­clear weapons de­vel­op­ment but fears strong eco­nomic pres­sure could desta­bilise the coun­try, re­sult­ing in a wave of refugees flood­ing into north­east­ern China and the loss of a strate­gic buf­fer zone from South Korea, a US ally.

– Kyodo

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