World

China hits back at Trump over North Korea

Chinese vice-minister says trade ties should not be linked to Korean situation

BEIJING: China hit back yesterday after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he was "very disappointed" in China following Pyongyang's latest missile test.

The Chinese said the problem did not arise in China and that all sides need to work for a solution.

China has become increasingly frustrated with American and Japanese criticism that it should do more to rein in Pyongyang.

China is North Korea's closest ally and Beijing is angry with its continued nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea on Saturday said it had conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that proved its ability to strike the US mainland, drawing a sharp warning from Mr Trump and a rebuke from China.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with Mr Trump yesterday and agreed on the need for more action on North Korea, just hours after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington is "done talking about North Korea".

A White House statement after the phone call said the two leaders "agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries near and far".

IRON-CLAD COMMITMENT

It said Mr Trump "reaffirmed our iron-clad commitment" to defend Japan and South Korea from any attack, "using the full range of United States' capabilities".

Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday, after the missile test, that he was "very disappointed" in China and that Beijing profits from US trade but had done "nothing" for them with regards to North Korea, something he would not allow to continue.

China's Foreign Ministry, in a statement responding to Trump's tweets, said: "All parties should have a correct understanding of this."

It added that the international community widely recognised China's efforts to seek a resolution.

The essence of Sino-US trade is mutual benefit, with a vast amount of facts proving the healthy development of business and trade ties is good for both countries, the ministry statement confirmed.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming weighed in, too, saying there was no link between North Korea and China-US trade.

He said: "We think the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade are issues in two completely different domains.

"They aren't related." - REUTERS

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