Trump Eyes China Sanctions While Seeking Its Help on North Korea

Claudine Rigal
Août 19, 2017

Trump's call came as North Korea is threatening an attack on Guam amid escalating tensions over North Korea's continued push to develop nuclear weapons capable of reaching the USA mainland.

USA officials have said new US steps targeting Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang are in the works, but these have appeared to be put on hold to give Beijing time to show it is serious about enforcing new United Nations sanctions.

Trump said he did not want to talk about diplomatic "back channels" with North Korea after USA media reports that Joseph Yun, the US envoy for North Korea policy, had engaged in diplomacy for several months with Pak Song Il, a senior diplomat at Pyongyang's United Nations mission, on the deteriorating ties and the issue of Americans imprisoned in North Korea.

In playing cat-and-mouse not only with the United States but the entire democratic world, Pyongyang has once again pushed the envelop by targeting this time the tiny American island territory of Guam (population: 160,000), in the Pacific.

Macron's statement follows a phone call with Trump Saturday evening.

North Korean military figures are putting the final touches on a plan to fire four missiles into the waters around the United States territory of Guam, to be presented to leader Kim Jong Un within days. Guam stayed under naval rule until 1950, when the Organic Act made Guam a self-governing territory of the US and its residents became USA citizens.

"The North Korean regime today is engaged in a risky escalation of tensions, which poses a serious threat to the security of its neighbors as well as the durability of global efforts aimed at denuclearization", the Elysée said in a statement.

It may be inferred that North Korea has more than four of such missiles, which could give the U.S. leader a great source of anxiety until possibly the end of his presidency.

"The Chinese operate from the conviction that China remains and will always be the No. 1 strategic threat to the USA, so the issue of North Korea will be used against China - through sanctions, provocations and everything else", she said.

In South Korea, where both the military and civilians are used to facing threats from North Korea, Defense Minister Song Young-moo warned the country's armed forces "to maintain full readiness" to "immediately punish with powerful force" any action against the South. That is in response to the "fire and fury" that Donald Trump said he would unleash on Pyongyang for its endless nuclear threats against the world's only remaining superpower.

The blow to U.S. credibility would in fact be so great that the USA and Japan may decide to let North Korea fire the missiles.

The final stages of the political process to win Mr. Xi's favor for a place on the standing committee of the party, now a seven-member body that makes the final decisions on the nation's affairs, is underway among the resort's villas and hotels, China's political analysts said. The U.S. recaptured the territory three years later.

The French presidency said North Korea was engaged in a "dangerous escalation" of tensions. USA officials said there was no major movement of US military assets to the region, nor were there signs Pyongyang was actively preparing for war. Any order by the president could be executed quickly.

Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air.

The plan would be sent to Kim for approval just before or as the US-South Korea drills begin. -South Korea drills begin.

Called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air.

Washington and Seoul say the exercises are defensive in nature and crucial to deterring North Korean aggression. North Korea claims they're a rehearsal for war.

Pyongyang is also switching its propaganda machine into high gear by bringing in a large number of foreign journalists to ensure it gets global attention for an event next week in honor of its ruling Kim family on Mount Paektu, a dormant volcano that straddles the Chinese border and is something of a spiritual home for the regime.

In a readout of the call between Trump and Macron, the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders promised to work together to enforce the new round of sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council last week.

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