North Korea

Trump vows he won’t let China ‘do nothing’ on North Korea after latest missile test

US President Donald Trump is tweeting about his disappointments, particularly with China and its lack of action on North Korea

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 8:58am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 11:27pm

US President Donald Trump has warned that he would “no longer” allow China to “do nothing” on North Korea, after the belligerent hermit state launched an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

In his critique, which came in two tweets, Trump linked trade woes with the Asian giant to policy on North Korea, after South Korea indicated it was speeding the deployment of a US missile defence that has infuriated China.

“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 Saturday.

“We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

Conservative news outlets in the US appeared to relish Trump’s decision to assail Beijing for its supposed role in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes.

“Trump rips China on Twitter,” ran a Fox News headline.

Beijing is likely to be less amused.

“To some extent, I think Trump’s tweets are a bluff. But the Chinese government has to take this seriously,” said Li Yonghui, an international relations expert from Beijing’s Foreign Language University.

To some extent, I think Trump’s tweets are a bluff
Li Yonghui

Li said he expected Trump’s planned state visit to China later this year to still go ahead, despite growing tensions between Washington and Beijing. But China now needed to brace itself for “unfavourable measures in the near future” from the White House, he warned.

Dali Yang, an expert in Chinese politics from the University of Chicago, said that in recent weeks China had enjoyed a temporary respite from Trump’s attentions because of his battle to repeal Obamacare. “Now that breathing room is gone and of course Beijing has to manage this,” he said.

“This is the president running his foreign policy by tweeting again.”

China, Pyongyang’s main economic and diplomatic ally, opposes any military intervention and calls for a resolution through dialogue.

North Korea warned it will respond with further military provocation if the United States seeks new sanctions over its test-firing, according to the country’s official media Sunday.

The statement added that the Friday night ICBM test-firing “is meant to send a stern warning to the US making senseless remarks, being lost to reason in the frantic sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK.”

The United States is working toward a new UN resolution that would impose additional sanctions against North Korea in response to latest ICBM launch.

The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

The US military will also roll out “strategic assets” to the South, according to South Korean defence minister Song Young-moo.

Song declined to specify the nature of the mobilisation, but the phrase usually refers to high-profile weapons systems, such as stealth bombers and aircraft carriers.

The THAAD battery is made up of six interceptor missile launchers. Two launchers have been tentatively deployed at a golf course-turned-US military base in Seongju County, 300 kilometres south of Seoul.

China has long argued the deployment will destabilise the region.

On trade, the United States has blamed the unbalanced relationship – marked by a trade deficit with China of US$309 billion last year – on Beijing’s policies that impede access to their market. China says Washington’s own rules restricting US hi-tech exports are partially to blame.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters, The Guardian, Kyodo