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China’s strong warning to North Korea against another nuclear weapons test

China warns North Korea another nuclear weapons test would take relations beyond ‘point of no return’
Warning comes amid fears of new launch to mark anniversary of Pyongyang’s military,
Independent, Lizzie Dearden  @lizziedearden , 25 Apr 17North Korea has been warned not to go past the “point of no return” with another nuclear test by China, as the US and South Korea carry out high-profile military exercises.

An editorial in the Global Times, regarded as a mouthpiece for the ruling Communist Party, said Beijing was hoping for a peaceful outcome but had “very limited influence on the entire situation”.

“The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point,” it added, saying that if North Korea followed through on vows to carry out a sixth nuclear test, “it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return.“All stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

The warning followed a conversation between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, who has put pressure on China to “properly deal” with its ally’s continued violations of UN sanctions.

“China is very much the economic lifeline to North Korea so, while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korean problem, they will,” the US President tweeted on Saturday.

As North Korea’s chief source of trade, food and fuel aid, Beijing has come under increasing pressure to use its influence to dissuade Kim Jong-un from continuing weapons development that has generated international alarm.

But the Chinese government is wary of any measures that could threaten the North Korean regime’s existence, and provoke a potential nuclear war or a new government in Pyongyang beholden to Washington and Seoul.
A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Lu Kang, said diplomatic channels remained “smooth [with] normal exchanges” on Tuesday, amid fears of a new test to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.He urged all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from any actions that could push tensions even higher. “The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive and the tension is high,” he added.

“We urge all sides concerned to keep restrained and calm and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions.”

Two American destroyers are conducting joint maritime exercises with ships from the Japanese and South Korean navies, which were to continue on Wednesday in waters both sides of the Korean Peninsula……..


April 26, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, weapons and war

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