Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Kim’s closest ally backs away

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CHINESE President Xi Jinping has called for tougher sanctions against North Korea after he spoke by phone with and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, says both leaders advocated tougher sanctions against North Korea, but agreed that dialogue must continue to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

China’s state broadcaster, China Central Television, said Xi told Merkel that China remains committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and to the region’s peace and stability.

Xi said: “Facts have repeatedly proven that the Korean Peninsula issue can only be resolved through peaceful means, including dialogue and consultation.

This requires the international community to work together.” North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China hopes North Korea will “see the situation clearly and come to the right judgment and choice,” Mr Wang said.

He said the UN should take “necessary measures,” but added that sanctions and pressure should spur dialogue and negotiation between the sides toward the goal of a peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump said he hopes to avoid military action against North Korea but that military action is “certainly an option”.

“It would be great if something else could be worked out,” he told reporters during a joint news conference with Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah. “I would prefer not going the route of the military,” Trump said. “If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea.”

“We will not be putting up with what’s happening with North Korea,” Mr Trump said. “We’re going to see what happens.”

Trump also said that North Korea “is behaving badly and it’s got to stop”.

Trump’s comments were his most extensive public response to North Korea’s statement on Sunday that it had tested another nuclear device – its sixth.

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