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Time for talk on N. Korea is over: US – China tells Trump not to link trade to Pyongyang

WASHINGTON, July 31, (Agencies): The time for talk on North Korea is “over”, the United States said, spurning a UN response to Pyongyang’s latest ICBM launch in favour of bomber flights and missile defence system tests.

Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, said there was “no point” in holding a fruitless emergency Security Council session, warning that another weak council resolution would be “worse than nothing” in light of the North’s repeated violations.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un boasted of his country’s ability to strike any target in the US after an intercontinental ballistic missile test Friday which weapons experts said could even bring New York into range — a major challenge to President Donald Trump.

US strategic bombers on Saturday flew over the Korean peninsula in a direct response to the launch, and on Sunday American forces successfully tested a missile interception system which the US hopes will be installed on the Korean peninsula.

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. The US Senate passed new bipartisan sanctions on Pyongyang on Friday.

Haley urged China, Japan and South Korea to tighten the screws on Pyongyang.

“An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value,” she said in a statement late Sunday.

“It sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him.

“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step. The time for talk is over.”

Analysts said the comments indicated Washington had run out of patience with the diplomatic approach, and could consider military intervention.

The latest ICBM test “poses a seemingly tangible threat to the national security of the US”, said Jeung Young-Tae, director of military studies at Dongyang University in South Korea.

“Now the US will see no point in negotiation, which only helps Pyongyang earn more time to develop its weapons programmes,” he said.

“Whether we want it or not, the risk of unilateral military action by the US cannot be ruled out at this point.”

Earlier, Trump warned that he would not allow China — the impoverished North’s sole major ally and economic lifeline — to “do nothing” about Pyongyang.

In two tweets Trump linked trade strains with the Asian giant — marked by a trade deficit of $309 billion last year — to policy on North Korea, after South Korea indicated it could speed up the deployment of a US missile defence system that has infuriated China.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with US President Donald Trump on Monday and agreed on the need for more action on North Korea just hours after the US Ambassador to the United Nations said Washington is “done talking about North Korea”.

Sanctions

Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement China must decide if it is willing to back imposing stronger UN sanctions on North Korea over Friday night’s long-range missile test, the North’s second this month.

Any new UN Security Council resolution “that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value”, Haley said, adding that Japan and South Korea also needed to do more.

Abe told reporters after his conversation with Trump that repeated efforts by the international community to find a peaceful solution to the North Korean issue had yet to bear fruit in the face of Pyongyang’s unilateral “escalation”.

“International society, including Russia and China, need to take this seriously and increase pressure,” Abe said. He said Japan and the United States would take steps towards concrete action but did not give details.

Also:

BEIJING: China said Monday the US should not link trade to discussions about North Korea’s nuclear programme, after President Donald Trump accused Beijing of failing to restrain Pyongyang despite profiting from business with America.

“We believe that the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade are two issues that are in two completely different domains,” Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming told a press briefing, adding the issues “are not related, and should not be discussed together”.

“In general, China-US trade, including mutual investment, is mutually beneficial, and both China and the United States have gained great profits from bilateral trade and investment cooperations,” he said.

The comments came in response to a question about tweets from Trump Saturday warning that he would no longer allow China to “do nothing” on North Korea, after Pyongyang launched its second intercontinental ballistic missile test.

Trump, who is at loggerheads with Beijing over how to handle Kim Jong-Un’s regime, has repeatedly urged China to rein in its recalcitrant neighbour, but Beijing insists dialogue is the only practical way forward.

In his critique, Trump linked trade woes with the Asian giant to policy on North Korea.

“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!”

A commentary by Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency Monday labelled Trump’s position as “absurd” and complained that he “still chooses to unfairly blame China” for North Korea’s behaviour.

“The crux of the matter is the decades-long animosity between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” it said, using the official name for its neighbour.

An editorial in China’s Global Times, a state-run nationalistic tabloid, had even sterner words for Trump.

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