North Korea Strategic Liability For China: US

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North Korea Strategic Liability For China: US

North Korea would be a prominent topic in the meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.


Washington:  North Korea is now a "strategic liability for China" and could disrupt the stability in the region, the White House has said after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

The remarks come ahead of the crucial meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Florida this week. North Korea would be a prominent topic in the meeting.

"It is now quite clearly a strategic liability, and it is one that is having an impact on the region. It is one that has the potential to destabilise not only the peninsula but really the region as a whole," Matt Pottinger, Senior Director for Asia at the National Security Council at the White House told reporters at a news conference yesterday.

"In terms of an area of co-operation, of course we would like to see China working closely with the United States to address the menace emanating from North Korea - their weapons programs, the provocations that we're seeing every week; missile launches, including one that we just had not too many hours ago," he said.

"I think it's in Beijing's interest. I think that North Korea long ago ceased to be a strategic asset for China," he added.

The news conference was also addressed by Susan Thornton, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, who said that the time to hold talks with North Korea is over.

"Strategic patience has run out. This problem has really become very urgent, and it is, destabilising to the entire region and actually further than the region now, reaches across the globe with the progress that North Korea is making in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile," she said.

The feeling on American side is that this problem has really become urgent, she added.

"So that the US would not only be talking with the Chinese on this issues, but also the US Ambassador to the UN has convened a ministerial meeting in New York later this month to talk and galvanise a lot more support from our other partners and allies around the world," Thornton said.

The meeting would be chaired by by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and would chart a way forward in a very urgent way, she said.

"Because we feel that this problem has now crossed avcertain line and we can no longer hope for some kind of reversion to negotiations. We need to do something proactive to change the situation and get some results, and we hope that the Chinese are going to be involved in that," she said.

"We'll certainly be talking to them about that in the next couple of days. We think they have a lot to contribute, and so we'll see where we get on that," the White House official said. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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