Donald Trump in talks with China's Xi Jinping over 'menace of North Korea'

13 April 2017 07:57
“ DONALD Trump has spoken to his Chinese counterpart as tension escalates over North Korea's nuclear weapon ambitions. „
Donald Trump in talks with Chinas Xi Jinping over menace of North Korea

The US President said he had a "very good" discussion with Xi Jinping about "the menace of North Korea".

Chinese state media said Mr Xi had called for a peaceful resolution of the standoff on the Korean peninsula - which it described as the closest it had been to a "military clash" since North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006.

US carrier Carl Vinson and her warship group were ordered at the weekend to cancel a trip to Australia and head back towards Korean waters.

Mr Trump boasts that he has despatched a powerful "armada" and that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is doing "the wrong thing".

China is reported to have moved 150,000 troops to its border with the repressive state to deal with a possible influx of refugees amid fears that Mr Trump  - emboldened by international backing for last week's US airstrikes at Syrian regime forces - could order a military attack on Pyongyang.

The Chinese Defence Ministry dismissed reports about a build-up of troops as "pure fabrication".

If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!

Donald Trump

There is speculation that North Korea could stage a sixth nuclear test or new ballistic weapon launches - in defiance of United Nations resolutions and sanctions - around Saturday's 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, the nation's founder Kim Il Sung.

On Tuesday Mr Trump used his favourite medium of Twitter to comment: "North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!  U.S.A."

He also told Mr Xi that China would get a better trade deal with the US "if they solve the North Korean problem".

North Korean state media warned on Tuesday that the US could expect a nuclear attack if it showed any sign of aggression towards the country.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said today that Mr Xi had stressed in his telephone call with Mr Trump that China was "committed to the target of denuclearisation on the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang urged all sides to lower the tension.

"We hope that the relevant parties do not adopt irresponsible actions. Under the current circumstances, this is very dangerous," Mr Lu told reporters.

Sources in Tokyo said Japan - which feels highly vulnerable to attack from near neighbour North Korea - plans to conduct naval exercises with the US carrier group in a joint show of force.

However, a Japanese diplomat said the risk of US military strikes seemed low as America had not issued warnings to its citizens in South Korea.

North Korea remains technically at war with the US and its ally South Korea after the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. It regularly threatens to destroy both countries.