Reuters logo
China say North Korea's nuclear plan is a problem between U.S. and North Korea
February 24, 2017 / 10:11 AM / 9 months ago

China say North Korea's nuclear plan is a problem between U.S. and North Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Friday dismissed renewed pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump over its role in North Korea, saying the crux of the matter was a dispute between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a performance given with splendor at the People's Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State Merited Chorus in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on February 23, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS

Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to”, turning up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.

China has made clear that it opposes North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and has repeatedly called for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a return to negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers.

It has also insisted it is dedicated to enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

“We have said many times already that the crux of the North Korean nuclear issue is the problem between the United States and North Korea,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing, responding to Trump’s remarks.

“We hope the relevant parties can shoulder their responsibilities, play the role the should, and together with China play a constructive role for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and for its denuclearization,” he added.

The official Xinhua news agency said China’s influence on North Korea had been exaggerated.

U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“The Trump White House needs to make the first move and talk to Pyongyang. The United States stands to lose nothing for trying this,” it said in an English-language commentary.

China announced on Saturday last week it was banning imports of coal from North Korea, after it tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

North Korean state media issued a rare reproach of China on Thursday saying its main diplomatic backer was “dancing to the tune” of the United States for halting its coal imports because of its nuclear and missile programs.

The North’s state-run KCNA news agency did not refer directly to China by name but in an unmistakable censure it accused a “neighboring country” of going along with North Korea’s enemies to “bring down its social system”.

Asked about the report, Geng said the U.N. sanctions were a clear signal of opposition from the international community about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and that China would enforce them.

However, he also described China and North Korea as being friendly neighbors.

“We are willing to work with North Korea to promote the stable and healthy development of relations,” Geng said, adding North Korea was well aware of China’s position on its nuclear program.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below