China Offers to Defend Kim Jong-un If He Gives Up His Nuclear Weapons


A Chinese warplane. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ryan Pickrell

April 13, 2017

China would be willing to offer the North Korean regime protection if it abandoned its nuclear weapons, a well-known Chinese paper reports.

North Korea’s primary reason for developing nuclear weapons is the preservation of the state and the regime through deterrence, yet the U.S. and its allies refuse to accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. Evidence suggests that North Korea may be preparing for another nuclear test this weekend.

(This first appeared in The Daily Caller here.)

“This path has no outlet … it doesn’t matter if North Korea tests a few more nuclear bombs or a few more missiles. It will not make any difference,” the Global Times, an outlet affiliated with the state-run People’s Daily, the paper of the ruling Communist Party, wrote Thursday. “Washington does not fear North Korea, and another nuclear test increases the likelihood that the U.S. will use military force.”

North Korea’s current course is not sustainable and is putting the survival of the regime in jeopardy. “If North Korea does not end its nuclear activities, this end is inevitable,” the newspaper explained, adding that even if the U.S. does not attack it, sanctions will eventually cripple the North Korean state.

“Pyongyang may assume that atomic bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles are the keys to ensuring national and political security, but this is wrong,” the Global Times argued, further commenting that the international community, China included, will not stand idly by while North Korea tests increasingly-powerful nuclear weapons.

“Beijing will not patiently allow Pyongyang to continue its nuclear activities. This is where the U.S. and China are in agreement,” the paper noted, “The difference is that Beijing insists on a peaceful solution that does not threaten the regime, while Washington may use force and take extreme measures.” In a separate article, the outlet reported that President Donald Trump, who recently bombed Syria for crossing the line with chemical weapons, is a man “who honors his promises” and may take military action against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Reports suggest that China’s People’s Liberation Army has been put on alert for a possible contingency on the peninsula as tensions rise.

“If North Korea complies with China’s advice and suspends nuclear activities, China will actively work to protect the security of a de-nuclearised North Korean nation and regime,” the Global Times wrote, adding that China is willing to build a positive future for both sides of the Yalu River.

In addition to warning North Korea against continued provocations, China also warned the U.S. against using military action. “Military force cannot resolve the issue,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing Thursday.

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Source: National Interest “China Offers to Defend Kim Jong-un If He Gives Up His Nuclear Weapons”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China will get better U.S. trade deal if it solves North Korea problem: Trump


U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands while walking at Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

By David Lawder | WASHINGTON Tue Apr 11, 2017 | 2:24pm EDT

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had told China’s President Xi Jinping at a summit last week that Beijing would get a better trade deal with Washington if it helped solve the U.S. problem with North Korea.

“I explained to the president of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!” Trump, who held talks with Xi in Florida last week, wrote on Twitter.

“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!” he added in a second note.

Persuading China to put pressure on its neighbor and ally North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development was a key objective for Trump in his first meeting with Xi.

The two leaders agreed to negotiate a 100-day plan aimed at bringing down China’s massive trade surplus with the United States, but the two sides offered few details.

China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi, on Tuesday repeated China’s call for a return to dialogue with North Korea, and when asked about Trump linking a trade deal to China’s help with on North Korea, told Reuters:

“We need to look at the situation on the Korean Peninsula as something that we should work together on.”

Trump’s linkage of trade and North Korea drew criticism from Senator Charles Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, who has sided with Trump in the past on trade. He called on Trump to stick to his campaign vows to take tough action on Chinese trade abuses.

“I think what he’s saying is, if they are tough on North Korea, I’ll go easier on trade,” Schumer said told reporters. “Ask the American people if they like that deal. They won’t.”

A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters China had suggested some areas where trade frictions could be reduced.

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“We are adding some additional items to that list,” the official said, while declining to give details.

Opening China to U.S. beef and U.S. services-sector investment are among the topics in the trade talks, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday.

China agreed last year to end a 13-year ban on U.S. beef, but purchases have yet to resume.

“An absolutely minimum starting point is for China to start honoring agreements it’s already committed to,” the U.S. official said.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick and David Alexander; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Source: Reuters “China will get better U.S. trade deal if it solves North Korea problem: Trump”


Top South Korean presidential candidate would review THAAD process: advisers


The Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidential primary Moon Jae-in makes a speech at an event to declare their fair contest in the partyÕs presidential primary in Seoul, South Korea, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Yeganeh Torbati and James Pearson | SEOUL Fri Mar 17, 2017 | 6:19pm EDT

The liberal South Korean politician most likely to become the country’s next president would, if elected, review how the government would deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system and would consult China, two of his top advisers said on Friday.

If Moon Jae-in, front-runner for the May 9 presidential election, reverses policy on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, it will place him at odds with the United States, South Korea’s biggest ally.

The conservative government of impeached president Park Geun-hye agreed to deploy the THAAD to guard against attack by North Korea, but the decision sparked outrage in China, which responded with restrictions on some companies doing business with and in South Korea.

China says the system’s radar can be used to spy into its territory.

Moon would likely “do a review of the validity of the decision”, Choi Jong Kun, an adviser to Moon on foreign policy told Reuters. “While doing it, he will consult with the United States, as well as China.”

“At the end of the day, if the reality unfolds in a way that South Korea’s national security and the economy were damaged because of the THAAD, not because of the North Korea issue, then it’s not really a rational situation, is it?”

The comments are at variance with a tough stand taken by the new U.S. administration on North Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, visiting Seoul for the first time since taking office, said on Friday a U.S. policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea has ended and military action would be “on the table” if North Korea if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.

Tillerson also said he expected the next South Korean government would “continue to be supportive” of THAAD.

A Pentagon spokesman said THAAD deployment was “a critical measure” to defend South Koreans and U.S. forces against North Korean missiles.

China is South Korea’s largest trading partner and the dispute over THAAD has left shopping districts in Seoul devoid of their usual crowds of Chinese tourists.

In China, the row has led to a freeze of South Korean television dramas and music, and product boycotts.

Moon, a liberal facing little in the way of a significant conservative challenger, said in a debate this week China should stop the economic retaliation and South Korea had to make diplomatic efforts to assuage Chinese anger.

“It’s only right for the THAAD deployment issue to be decided by the next administration,” Moon told foreign media recently.

RAPPROCHEMENT

A 63-year-old human rights lawyer, Moon has said he will extend an olive branch to North Korea if elected and visit Pyongyang before making a trip to the United States.

Just two North-South summits have been held since the 1950-53 Korean war.

Choi said the decision to deploy the THAAD battery had been made hastily. China’s reaction was foreseeable and yet was largely ignored by Park’s government, he said.

“We had a strategic partnership with Beijing, until this THAAD issue,” Choi said. “Our relationship had been pretty OK and pretty good.”

Kim Ki-Jung, another foreign policy adviser to Moon, said he had tried to convince U.S. military officials and diplomats in Washington last month that the deployment of the THAAD should be left to the leader who succeeds Park.

“We are going to acknowledge that two governments made an agreement … but the actual process of deployment, that should be given to the next government,” he said.

Instead, the United States started to deploy the first elements of the system this month, after North Korea fired off four ballistic missiles into the sea off northwest Japan.

Moon has criticized the two former conservative presidents – Park and her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak – for derailing progress made in inter-Korean relations under previous liberal administrations.

He calls for a “two-step” approach on North Korea, with talks leading to “economic unification” and ultimately “political and military unification.”

His viewpoints could spark friction with Washington, but Moon would have no problem distancing South Korea’s interests from those of the United States, Kim said.

“The basic assumption is that we are going to maintain the success of our bilateral alliance,” Kim said.

“We are going to keep it … as long as we admit that South Korea is not the 51st state of the United States. We are an independent country, we have our own national interest, and we should have our own foreign policy strategy.”

(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Robert Birsel and Raju Gopalkrishnan)

Source: Reuters “Top South Korean presidential candidate would review THAAD process: advisers”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China, Russia to step up opposition to South Korean anti-missile system


China and Russia have agreed to intensify their coordinated opposition to the deployment of a U.S. missile-defense system in South Korea, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

South Korea decided last year to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in response to the threat from North Korean missiles.

But China and Russia worry that the system’s powerful radar can penetrate their territory and undermine their security, disrupting a balance of power in the region while doing nothing to lower tension on the Korean peninsula.

South Korean officials have said THAAD is a purely defensive measure against North Korean threats and does not target any other country.

“Both sides said they will continue to strengthen their coordinated opposition to THAAD”, the two countries’ deputy foreign ministers agreed on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s said in a statement on its website.

China and Russia agreed in January to take unspecified “countermeasures” in response to THAAD.

South Korea’s defense ministry struck a deal this week with an affiliate of the Lotte Group conglomerate to acquire land southeast of the capital, Seoul, for the deployment of the missile system.

The deal sparked protests from China’s state media, which called for a boycott of South Korean cars and telephones and for people to shun its entertainment exports.

South Korean officials have said they expect the missile system to be deployed and operational this year.

North Korea’s drive to develop nuclear weapons and missiles has angered China, the North’s sole major diplomatic and economic supporter.

China has pushed for the resumption of six-party talks involving it, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United Sates, on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as a way to resolve differences.

China has also called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “China, Russia to step up opposition to South Korean anti-missile system”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Senior North Korea envoy visits Beijing after China coal ban


Ri Kil Song leaves after a meeting with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh in this file photo dated February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Ri Kil Song leaves after a meeting with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh in this file photo dated February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

(This version of the story corrects datline to BEIJING, not SEOUL.)

A senior North Korean diplomat arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks, China said, the first such high-level visit since June, after the Asian giant halted coal imports from its impoverished neighbour this month under U.N. sanctions.

North Korea’s main diplomatic ally said it would ban coal imports about a week after the isolated country tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile, for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

The North’s Vice Foreign Minister Ri Kil Song arrived in Beijing at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and will hold talks with his host, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

“This visit of the North Korean vice foreign minister is normal diplomatic contact and exchange between China and North Korea,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing.

Ri will meet other Chinese diplomats, including vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin, on the visit set to run until March 4, Geng added.

North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency confirmed the visit.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said it was aware Ri would be travelling to China but did not elaborate, and declined to comment when asked if the visit might be related to the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother.

Before he was killed at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13, Kim Jong Nam lived quietly in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, a Chinese territory, avoiding controversy and seemingly relaxed about personal safety, sources close to him have said.

Tuesday’s visit is the first such trip since one in June by Ri Su Yong, a member of the politburo of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It comes in the wake of a rare reproach North Korea issued to China, saying it was “dancing to the tune” of the United States for halting coal imports over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.

The move aimed to comply with U.N. sanctions imposed after nuclear tests by the North, the latest of which took place in September.

In a Reuters interview, Trump said he welcomed China’s ban, but Beijing could solve the challenge posed by the North “very easily if they want to,” turning up pressure on China to do more.

China later dismissed the renewed pressure from Trump over its role in North Korea, saying the crux of the matter was a dispute between Washington and Pyongyang.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park in Seoul and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: Reuters “Senior North Korea envoy visits Beijing after China coal ban”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Trump, China’s top diplomat, discuss cooperation, possible Xi meeting


By Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom | WASHINGTON Mon Feb 27, 2017 | 7:03pm EST

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has attacked China on issues from trade to the South China Sea, held his first face-to-face talks with a member of the Chinese leadership on Monday, and the White House said it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with President Xi Jinping.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, met Trump briefly after talks with the new U.S. National Security adviser, H.R. McMaster, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

A senior U.S. administration official said discussions included bilateral cooperation and the possibility of arranging a meeting between Trump and Xi, but no date was set.

The official said the meeting with Trump lasted five to seven minutes.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called it “an opportunity to say ‘hi’ to the president” before Yang left.

“This was an opportunity to begin that conversation and talk to them on shared interests of national security,” he said at a regular news briefing.

China’s Foreign Ministry cited Yang as telling Trump that China was willing to enhance exchanges with the United States at all levels, expand coordination and cooperation, and respect each others’ core interests and major concerns.

“Ensuring the steady and healthy development of China-U.S. ties will surely benefit both peoples and the world as a whole,” the ministry paraphrased Yang as saying.

Yang, who outranks China’s foreign minister, was the first top Chinese official to visit the White House since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

His visit followed a phone call between Yang and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week, during which the two affirmed the importance of a constructive U.S.-China relationship.

It was the latest step by the world’s two largest economies to try to put relations back on an even keel after a rocky start following Trump’s election victory.

Trump has been a strong critic of Beijing, accusing China of unfair trade policies, criticizing its island building in the strategic South China Sea, and accusing it of not doing enough to constrain its neighbor, North Korea.

Trump incensed Beijing in December by talking to the president of Taiwan and saying the United States did not have to stick to the “one China” policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part.

Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the “one China” policy in a diplomatic boost for Beijing, which vehemently opposes criticism of its claim to self-ruled Taiwan.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, saying Beijing could resolve the issue “very easily if it wanted to.”

China dismissed Trump’s remarks, saying on Friday the crux of the matter was a dispute between Washington and Pyongyang. Beijing has repeatedly called for a return to negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers.

As Yang held talks at the White House, senior officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea met at the State Department to discuss additional measures to choke off funding to North Korea’s weapons program.

“The officials considered other possible measures under national authorities, including means to restrict further the revenue sources for North Korea’s weapons programs, particularly illicit activities,” they said in a joint statement.

They also agreed that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs directly threatened their security and “strong international pressure” was needed to push back at Pyongyang, the statement said.

Plans for renewed contacts with North Korea in the United States were canceled last week after the U.S. State Department denied a visa for the top envoy from Pyongyang, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick and Washington Newsroom, and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Andrew Hay and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: Reuters “Trump, China’s top diplomat, discuss cooperation, possible Xi meeting”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China Promises Not to Use Currency Devaluation to Its Advantage


In its report yesterday on its exclusive interview with US President Donald Trump titled “Exclusive: Trump calls Chinese ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation”, Reuters says:

President Donald Trump declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing’s foreign exchange practices.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not “held back” in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

However, on the contrary, Reuters says in the report, “China’s central bank has spent billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves in the past year to prop up the yuan to counter capital outflows.”

Whatever the fact, China wants to satisfy Trump in order to have win-win cooperation with Trump. In another report yesterday titled “China says no intention of using currency devaluation to its advantage”, Reuters quotes Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying in a daily media briefing, “China has no intention of seeking foreign trade advantages via an intentional devaluation of the renminbi. There is no basis for the continued devaluation of the renminbi”.

Geng’s promise on China having no intention of currency manipulation proves what I said in my previous posts that Trump has got what he wants in his telephone talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He has got China to ban import of North Korean coal to pressure North Korea.

He has got China’s promise not to manipulate its currency.

It proves that he is a shrewd businessman and has used his shrewdness in US diplomacy. It also shows Chinese leaders’ wisdom in seeking win-win cooperation with the US.

Comments by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports, full text of which can be viewed respectively at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-china-currency-exclusive-idUSKBN1622PJ and http://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-china-currency-idUSKBN1630VK.