China criticizes North Korea, praises United States on nuclear issue

Cheryl Sanders
April 30, 2017

In a sign of Beijing's hardening attitude, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, said in an editorial on Monday that China could enforce "stricter measures" against North Korea, including a ban on oil exports, or join a USA -led effort to block the North's access to worldwide financial markets.

"If the United States is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC on Monday.

North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations reiterated on the weekend that the North is ready to respond to any USA missile or nuclear strike.

Earlier this year, China called on the U.S. and North Korea to give up something to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The Trump administration has signalled a more forceful US stance toward North Korea's recent missile tests and threats, including a warning from Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave".

The BBC's Stephen Evans in Seoul says U.S. policy now seems to be to persuade China to contain North Korea while keeping the economic and military pressure on.

With a U.S. aircraft carrier group steaming to the area in a show of force, fears of a confrontation have been rising.


Later Monday, Pence reiterated in a joint statement alongside South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn that "all options are on the table" to deal with threat and said any use of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang would be met with "an overwhelming and effective response".

A submarine missile is paraded across the Kim Il-sung Square during a military parade, in Pyongyang, North Korea on Saturday. "President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change". "A trade deal with the USA will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!"

In the wake of US Vice-President Mike Pence's visit to South Korea to declare the era of strategic patience was over, China's Global Times newspaper wrote in an editorial that China will cooperate with the US by imposing stricter economic sanctions on Pyongyang that will devastate the North Korean economy, but it won't support a military strike.

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that pre-emptive military action was "on the table".

The remark coincided with reports that China's attempts to get North Korea to even meet its nuclear envoy have been ignored.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two past year.

"President Trump is very hopeful that the Chinese will undertake to use the considerable leverage that they have over the economic lifeblood of the North Korean economy", she said.


The rising tension has opened the door to debate about once-taboo subjects in Japan, where the disastrous World War II experience and a postwar constitution that renounced the right to use military force have created a strong pacifist streak.

"As U.S. officials have pointed out, the U.S.is not seeking the collapse of the North Korean regime".

McMaster cited Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government, as a sign that the president "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions".

He said the U.S. was "disturbing global peace and stability and insisting on the gangster-like logic that its invasion of a sovereign state is decisive and just and proportionate and contributes to defending the worldwide order". China remains North Korea's chief source of fuel and food imports, but Pyongyang seems to have calculated that Beijing's fears of a collapse of Kim Jong Un's hard-line communist regime override any such snubs.

On Sunday, Lt Gen HR McMaster, the U.S. top security adviser, said his country was working on a "range of options" with China, the first confirmation the two countries were co-operating to find a solution to the North Korean issue.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday and said he believes the United States would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the standoff.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not tolerate "missile adventures by Pyongyang" but a unilateral use of power by the United States would be "a very risky course".


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER