Following the historic summit between Kimg Jong-un and Donald Trump, the President confidently told the world that North Korea was ‘no longer a nuclear threat’.
But now experts believe that Kim’s visit to China to meet president Xi Jinping should be seen as a warning that Trump’s trade tariff’s on China could undermine the peace goal with North Korea.
Bill Richardson, the former US energy secretary, ambassador and repeat US envoy to North Korea, told CNN: ‘I think China is sending a message to Trump: You want to put trade tariffs on us and have our cooperation with North Korea? You can’t have both.’
US defence secretary James Mattis admitted today that he is not aware of North Korea taking any steps towards denuclearisation.
‘The detailed negotiations have not begun. I wouldn’t expect that at this point.’ he told reporters.
Trump has ordered new trade tariffs on Chinese imports after Xi matched previous trade tariffs imposed by the US earlier this month.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: ‘Again and again the US has been provoking a trade war.
‘We advise the US side to return to reason, and stop words and actions that harm itself and others.’
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert responded: ‘We have areas where we work with China and we have strong relations, but there are also areas where we’re not always in agreement with China, and we will certainly bring those to light.
‘We want to have a constructive relationship with the government of China. In order to do that, we need to repair, make some progress on some issues related to trade.’
Kim pledged to work towards denuclearisation in exchange for US security guarantees and the US and South Korea also suspended a major joint military exercise that was planned for August.
Chinese state media quoted Chinese president Mr Xi as hailing the warming friendship with Kim but included no mention of any specific discussions on making progress on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Mr Xi said China is pleased that ‘the momentum for dialogue and easing of the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been effectively strengthened’.