Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

China has not done enough on issue of North Korea

China has not done enough on issue of North Korea

As North Korea struggle to cope with economic challenges following sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by United Nations and US over nuclear and missile development, China says its trade with the Kim Jong Un-led country fell 50 per cent in December from a year earlier.

North and South Korea held their first talks in two years on Tuesday.

"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un", Trump said, during a Wall Street Journal interview, of the leader whom he previously called a "maniac".

Just Wednesday, Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae-in by telephone that he was now open to talking to North Korea "at the appropriate time under the right circumstances".

No sitting USA president is known to have spoken with a North Korean leader.

When Asked if Kim meant to "drive a wedge" between Seoul and Washington by opening the talks with South Korea, the US President did not rule it out.

Next week, the United States and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear stand-off with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world.

Despite the loss of nearly all trade, the impoverished North has pressed ahead with weapons development that Kim's regime sees as necessary for its survival in the face of US pressure. Another option would be a retaliatory strike on an ICBM or nuclear site after a test, another official said.

"He is already a shrewd and mature politician", Putin said.

But Hook said Washington remained in contact with China about enforcing the sanctions and pressuring Kim, and that both Beijing and Moscow would be briefed after the talks.

A South Korean official said Seoul believed the chance of a US strike was still low.

The prevailing view at the State Department is that military action is not worth the huge risk, a senior US official said. In his New Year's address last week, Kim said he has a "nuclear button" that could fire weapons anywhere in the United States, and Trump responded that he has a much bigger and more powerful "nuclear button".

A Japanese ruling party lawmaker said he did not believe the Korean talks could narrow the gap between North Korea's demand for recognition as a nuclear-armed state and the US refusal to accept that.

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