Korea: US Strike on Syria 'Unforgivable'

Cheryl Sanders
April 11, 2017

Trump's aides insisted he had made good on his pledge to raise concerns about China's trade practices and said there was some headway, with Xi agreeing to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting USA exports and reducing China's trade surplus with the United States.

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement about missile strikes on a Syrian airbase at his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, April 6, 2017. After their first face-to-face at the Mar-a-Lago resort, he trumpeted they had developed an "outstanding" relationship.

North Korea has said the USA missile strikes on Syria were an "intolerable act of aggression" that "proves a million times over" that strengthening its nuclear programme was the right choice, state media reported Saturday.

But the two days of meetings appeared heavier on optics than substance.

Emphasizing that there's hope the US and China can cooperate, he said the conditions in the minds of the North Korean leadership can be changed.

The National Security Council has presented U.S. President Donald Trump with options on how to respond North Korea's advancing nuclear program.

The U.S. administration's first recourse is very likely to be economic - pushing China to crack down on Chinese banks and companies said to provide North Korea access to the global financial system.

The highly anticipated U.S.

"They recognize that shows our clear determination to crack down on this sort of activity", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters.

"(We) are prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us", said Tillerson.

USA options to try to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes include economic and military measures but lean more towards sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbour.

"I think there was definitely an acknowledgement by them on the trade issue that we do need to get to a more balanced trade environment", he said. Bilateral trade reached 519.6 billion USA dollars previous year, with two-way investment exceeding 170 billion dollars.

Tillerson insisted that Xi was not rattled by Trump's decision: "President Xi expressed an appreciation for the president letting him know and providing the rationale and said, as it was told to me, he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children". He did not elaborate.

Commenting on the widely-watched Xi-Trump meeting, David Gosset, a Paris-based global affairs analyst and Sinologist, noted that in a spirit of productive pragmatism, the two leaders "stayed focused on the indispensable cooperation between China and the U.S". -China relationship and burnishing his foreign policy credentials than achieving a breakthrough.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and his USA counterpart Donald Trump (L) hold the second round of talks in the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the United States, April 7, 2017. "For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfill our historical responsibility".

The meeting of the leaders of the world's two largest economies was largely overshadowed by the US missile strikes on Syria.

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