09/07/2017, 10.24
CHINA-US-KOREA

Xi Jinping and Trump in joint condemnation of Pyongyang nuclear test

The nuclear test is "a provocative and destabilizing action", "dangerous to the world" and is not in Pyongyang's best interests. North Ambassador to the UN: The test is "a gift package to the US". Four more  Thaad anti-missile launchers installed, angering Beijing and Moscow.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have jointly condemned North Korea's nuclear experiment on September 3 last. In a telephone conversation last night, they promised to closely coordinate their efforts to free the Korean Peninsula from the nuclear threat. The two presidents have called the test "provocative and destabilizing action" and said that the path taken by Pyongyang is "dangerous to the world" and " is not in Pyongyang's best interests”.

Xinhua also stressed that Xi is determined to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner, and that Beijing attaches great importance to Trump's visit to China by the end of the year.

Trump, too, after the recent warlike threats, said that "the military option is not the first".

This unity of intent thus confirms for several analysts the idea that Pyongyang's goal is not just Washington, but also China and Xi Jinping. As noted by Zhang Lianghui, professor of international strategies at the Beijing Central Party School, in Kim Jong-un's moves there is also a "China factor" playing a role. "North Korea - he says – makes a heavy move every time China has a big event." The launch of September 3 took place on the eve of Xi's meeting with the BRICS Countries. Another missile test took place last April, just before Xi Jinping met with Donald Trump in Florida; another, last May, before China launched its "One Belt and One Road Initiative".

Meanwhile, North Korea's provocations continue. Two days ago, its UN ambassador to Geneva, Han Tae Song, speaking at a disarmament conference said the country's missile and nuclear tests, including the latest one with a hydrogen bomb "are a gift package " for the United States. "The US - he said - will receive even more parcels from my nation if they continue to rely on rudeness provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on North Korea."

The United States and South Korea are working to build support for an UN resolution that increases sanctions against the North, including cutting oil supplies. But Beijing and Moscow do not seem to share this road for now.

Meanwhile, at Seongju, about 300 km south of Seoul, four other rocket launchers of the Thaad anti-missile system were "temporarily" installed. Two other ramps were already in operation. The installation has sparked protests and demonstrations of the local population (see photo 2), fearful of the environmental impact of the system, due to the electromagnetic waves of powerful radars and polluting electric batteries. At least 400 residents and activists have tried to stop the convoy with the ramps, clashing with 8,000 soldiers.

Russia, and especially China, are opposed to the installation because the powerful Thaad radars would be able to detect military structures in China, endangering its security.

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