08/11/2017, 16.18
KOREA
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China to be neutral if Kim attacks the US. Mattis now hopes in a diplomatic solution

After the verbal joust between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the US Secretary of Defence stresses that a war in Korea would be "catastrophic." The Chinese Communist Party's Global Times writes that if the United States and South Korea attack North Korea, China will have to intervene to prevent it.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – China will remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack against the United States, this according to The Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece. However, if the United States and South Korea attack North Korea to achieve regime change, China will intervene to prevent it.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that his nation would be prepared to join a conflict against North Korea if the United States came under attack. Australia would honour its commitment under the 1951 ANZUS Treaty, Turnball said, "as America would come to our aid if we were attacked".

For his part, US President Donald Trump has upped the ante. "I will tell you this,” the US leader said, “if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us they can be very, very nervous. I'll tell you why . . . because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”

Speaking directly to the American people, Trump said: "The people of this country should be very comfortable, and I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack, of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. I'll tell you why, and they should be very nervous. Because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”

Pyongyang responded by vowing to "mercilessly wipe out the provocateurs" adding that the Unites States would suffer a "shameful defeat and final doom if it persists in the extreme military venture, sanctions, and pressure."

Following the verbal joust between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, US Defence Secretary of James Mattis seemed to distance himself from the war of words, noting that a conflict would be "catastrophic." He added that the United States hoped to resolve the North Korean crisis diplomatically.

Yesterday Pyongyang announced that it was putting the final touches to a plan to launch four missiles in the waters of the Pacific, near Guam Island, which is home to 160,000 people as well as 13,000 US troops, about 3,000 kilometres from the US mainland.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in particular reacted angrily to the latest UN resolution boosting sanctions, which was approved unanimously, including Chinese support.

Mr Mattis yesterday said that it was his job as defence secretary to be ready for conflict, but added that the diplomatic effort, under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, "is gaining diplomatic results".

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