US should address NK’s concerns

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/4 23:38:40

China should push the US to directly address North Korea's security concerns to de-escalate tensions, as the US warned of a "massive military response" following Pyongyang's test of what it claimed was a miniaturized hydrogen bomb on Sunday, analysts said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday that "any threat to the US or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming," AFP reported.

US President Donald Trump also threatened drastic economic sanctions, including "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."

"The US is clearly anxious and humiliated by the latest nuclear test. It is blaming China for North Korea's actions. At the same time, it is hurling threats to maintain its East Asian allies' confidence toward itself," Zheng Jiyong, director of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Analysts said the options-a large-scale military action and stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea - are impractical for the US at the moment.

However, these statements could indicate broader sanctions, including bringing up whether China should entirely cut off its oil supply to North Korea at the UN Security Council, Zhu Feng, an international relations professor at Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

"China should push the US to address North Korea's security concerns to manage the situation. Washington needs to understand Pyongyang's reason for considering nuclear weapons essential for its regime's existence - that it senses a threat, not from China, but from the US. From this perspective, both sides may be able to find common ground to build on where China can play an auxiliary role in the talks," Zheng said.

He noted that China has done everything it can on the matter other than severed ties with Pyongyang and entirely cut off its oil supply, which would be unlikely strategic options for Beijing.

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday it had lodged solemn representations with North Korea.

"China opposes North Korea carrying out its nuclear missile development and we are committed to denuclearization on the peninsula. This position is well-known and North Korea also knows this position perfectly well," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

Chinese scientists measured North Korea's latest nuclear test at 108 kilotons, which is three to 7.8 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb the US dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.

Also on Monday, South Korea's defense ministry said the country and the US will deploy more Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launchers following Pyongyang's most powerful nuclear test. Analysts said the deployment is an extreme measure that would only increase the risk and reduce the options for future peace on the peninsula.

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