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China Responds To Trump’s North Korea Tweet

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following President Trump’s somewhat ominous ‘thanks for nothing in North Korea’ tweet last night, somewhat ominously, last night…

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2017

Perhaps suggesting: first that his ‘good friend’ Xi was not much help after all; and second, he will act unilaterally.

China has now responded, saying that its efforts on North Korea have been “indispensable.” As Bloomberg reports,

China has “played an important and constructive role” in seeking peace on the Korean peninsula, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.

China strictly implements United Nations Security Council resolutions and isn’t the crux of the North Korean issue, he said.

The spat underscores the risk of conflict between the world’s biggest economies even as the overall relationship is on more stable ground than when Trump took office in January, and comes just a day after the death of Otto Warmbier (after being imprisoned in North Korea for 18 months).

Warmbier’s death is “an outrage even by North Korean standards,” said John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.

“It does demand something that’s beyond the typical response. But what do you do? How do you punish North Korea? The instinctive response, such as a travel ban, would not punish the people who killed Otto Warmbier.”

China provides most of North Korea’s food and fuel imports. It has backed the Kim dynasty since the Korean War, in part to keep U.S. troops away from its border. While China has taken some steps on North Korea — including halting coal purchases this year after Kim’s estranged half-brother was murdered in Malaysia — its efforts haven’t produced a breakthrough so far.

 Spy satellites have detected what appear to be modifications around a tunnel entrance to an underground test area at North Korea’s nuclear test site, CNN reported Wednesday, citing two U.S. officials it did not identify. It said military options for North Korea had been updated and would be presented to Trump.

Trump’s administration talked up the threat of military action earlier this year, sending aircraft carrier strike groups to the region. In April, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned a war would devastate the region.

Top diplomats and defense chiefs from the two nations will meet in Washington later Wednesday, while China separately has invited Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to visit Beijing later this year.

However, Warmbier’s death undercuts any progress from those meetings.

“This makes dealing with Kim Jong Un so toxic,” Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu. “If there are any U.S. preconditions for the talks, the number one priority has to be the release of the three other prisoners.”


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