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North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile US policy

20 May 2017

Xi's remarks came in a meeting with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, who was dispatched to Beijing by new President Moon Jae-in on a mission to reopen contacts and seek a way out of the current impasse that has hit South Korean businesses hard.

North Korea has been under unrelenting pressure to rein in its nuclear programme, with the United States threatening to step up military force, the United Nations raising the possibility of tougher sanctions and even the country's sole ally China expressing growing frustration.

He noted that communications with North Korea were terminated past year in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's fifth nuclear test, and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated on North Korean soil.

The Trump administration has been aggressively pressing Beijing to rein in North Korea, warning that all options are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear and missile development. They scrutinize shipping traffic to parse whether the flow of oil and coal between North Korea and China might be diminishing, with potentially disastrous results for Kim Jong Un's regime.

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China for its part has been infuriated by the USA deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tension with Pyongyang.

Thousands of men in their Sunday best and women in colourful traditional dress lined the streets of Pyongyang to give the scientists and workers behind North Korea's latest missile test a hero's welcome, state media reported Friday (May 19). The president has vowed to strengthen the country's diplomatic relations with the ASEAN to the level of those with four global powers, including the United States, he stressed.

"We would see government reports and comments, but at the same time, we see the whole event from the position of Chinese", Wang said.

Trump warned this month that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, and in a show of force, sent the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group to Korean waters to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

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But a senior North Korean diplomat has said Pyongyang is also open to having talks with Washington under the right conditions.

Last weekend the secretive state tested a new missile it claims is a new medium-long range ballistic rocket which could carry a nuclear warhead.

Wang on Thursday reiterated calls for its dismantling. Therefore, the US government's additional sanctions and eased preconditions for dialogue can be seen as an intent to bring the recalcitrant state to the negotiation table through a reinforced "carrot and stick" approach.

"Stopping the deployment of THAAD is the bottom line of China", the newspaper said.

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North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile US policy