Tuesday 23 January 2018

Donald Trump lashes out at China over North Korea trade: 'So much for China working with us'

US President Donald Trump. Photo: PA
US President Donald Trump. Photo: PA

Andrew Buncombe

Donald Trump has attacked China over its increasing trade with North Korea, in the wake of Pyongyang's latest missile test having increased tensions in the region.

In the latest indication of Mr Trump's cooling views on China, a nation to which he had recently displayed considerable warmth and optimism, the President implied the White House's efforts to work with the Asian country had failed.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he tweeted.

Read More: Tensions mount after North Korea's launch of missile that can reach US

Mr Trump has been pushing China - North Korea's largest trading partner - to try and rein in the isolated nation over its nuclear programme, having tweeted after Tuesday's missile test that he hoped China would "put a heavy move" on the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The latest missile test by North Korea involved an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which some experts believe could have the range to reach the US state of Alaska.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (AP/Wong Maye-E)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (AP/Wong Maye-E)

The test marked a new milestone in the North Korean nuclear programme, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying the test, on the eve of the US Independence Day holiday, represented “a new escalation of the threat” to the United States and its allies, and vowed to take stronger measures.

The launch came days after the first face-to-face meeting between Mr Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and ahead of a G20 summit of the world's richest economies in Germany.

Read More: North Korea: China and Russia call on US to freeze military exercises in bid to cool tensions

On Wednesday, US and South Korean troops, in response to the ICBM launch, engineered a show of force for North Korea, with soldiers from the allies firing “deep strike” precision missiles into South Korean territorial waters.

Mr Moon ordered the drills with the United States to show “North Korea our firm combined missile response posture,” his office said.

Independent News Service

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