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China refutes Trump's accusation Beijing 'exerting negative pressure' on N Korea denuclearization

Photo: CNN

China has refuted US President Donald Trump's accusation that Beijing may be "exerting negative pressure" on North Korea over the denuclearization deal signed in Singapore last month, amid escalating trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade—Hope Not!"

Asked to make comments on Trump's tweet, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "I have three points to make. First, China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue is consistent. Second, China's attitude on the China-US trade issues is clear. Third, China is a trustworthy and responsible major country."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a special trip to North Korea  last Thursday to continue talks with the Pyongyang regime on nuclear disarmament.

It is the first time that the top US diplomat has visited the communist country since a summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12.

After a fresh round of high-level talks, Pompeo said progress was made during his two-day visit to Pyongyang.

However, North Korea gave a starkly different account from one provided by him, accusing the US of using "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament and branded the US attitude at the meeting as "extremely troubling."

Official KCNA news agency issued a statement, saying "the US had gone against the spirit of the summit by putting unilateral pressure on the country to abandon its nuclear weapons."

"We had anticipated the US side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return," it said, warning its "resolve for denuclearization... may falter."

Pompeo, though, reaffirmed the US goal of complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and said that his talks with the Pyongyang regime were conducted in "good faith."

"If those requests were 'gangster-like,'" Pompeo said during a press conference in Tokyo, "then the world is a gangster because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved."

Pompeo said that sanctions will remain in place against North Korea and be enforced with "great vigor."

"I am determined to achieve the commitment that President Trump made," Pompeo said. "I'm counting on Chairman Kim to be determined to follow through on the commitment that he made."

On June 12, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore.

Kim said in his signed agreement with Trump that North Korea would commit to achieving complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for US security guarantee and lifting of economic sanctions.

Geopolitics

The North Korea-US talks last week came as the trade war between China, North Korea's sole real ally and biggest trading partner, and the US ramps up.

The Trump administration slapped a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods from midnight Washington time on July 6.

China immediately retaliated by imposing a similar 25 percent tariff on 545 US goods, also worth a total of $34 billion and accused the US of "launching the biggest trade war in economic history."

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to further impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US.

In response, Chinese commerce ministry said next day China was "shocked" by the US action and had to take "necessary countermeasures."

Trump believes it is possible that Beijing feels particularly inspired to interfere with the US strategic objectives in light of the burgeoning trade war between the US and China.


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