In China, US President Donald Trump says North Korea must totally denuclearize

November 9, 2017 1:31 am
President (L) shakes hands with ’s President Xi Jinping during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, , on November 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump, who is in China, says Washington and Beijing have agreed on the need for to completely denuclearize.
The American president made the remark at a joint press conference with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital on Thursday, a day after he arrived in China, the third stop in his five-nation tour of Asia.
“The entire civilized world must unite to confront the North Korean serious nuclear menace,” Trump said at the presser, adding that both leaders had discussed earlier in the day their “mutual commitment to complete denuclearization of North Korea.”
Trump also said that both leaders had agreed on the need for the full implementation of all sanctions resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council against the North, adding that by exerting economic pressure on Pyongyang, it would eventually leave its “reckless and dangerous path.”
China is North Korea’s main ally but has had its own concerns about Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.
“All responsible nations must join together to stop arming and financing and even trading with the murderous North Korean regime,” Trump further said.
In a meeting with Xi earlier in the day, Trump had said he believed that there was a “solution” to the North Korean issue but did not elaborate.
At the presser, President Xi said for his part that Beijing was committed to cooperating with Washington on many major regional and global issues, including North Korea. He added that his country would continue to press for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Tensions have been building on the peninsula following a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang as well as threats of war and personal insults traded between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump, who is on his first tour of Asia as president, had threatened the North with military action during his first two stops in Japan and South Korea.
North Korea has been under a raft of crippling United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear tests as well as multiple rocket and missile launches.
Pyongyang has firmly defended its military program as a deterrent against the hostile policies of the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.
Trump has formerly pressed President Xi to use influence on Pyongyang to force it to abandon its nuclear program. But China has said that statements of its outsize influence on North Korea are inaccurate.
Beijing remains Pyongyang’s closest and largest commercial partner, purchasing some 83 percent of the North’s exports and selling 85 percent of the goods imported by the peninsular country.
Trump, who had put aside his usual anti-China rhetoric, said that China could resolve the North’s nuclear problem “easily and quickly,” calling President Xi a “great president” that once he works hard to achieve something, “it will happen. There’s no doubt about it.”
China has already said that it would not support any military action or threat against the North, urging all involved parties to solve the issue through talks.
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