US envoy: US believes China is trying to stop NKorea tests

2017-05-31 16:06
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations. (Seth Wenig, AP)

Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations. (Seth Wenig, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

United Nations - US Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Tuesday the Trump administration believes China is using "back channel networking" with North Korea to try and get Kim Jong Un to stop nuclear and ballistic missile testing.

"We believe they are being productive," she told reporters. "We do think they're trying to counter what is happening now."

Haley said China knows North Korea best "and so we're going to keep the pressure on China, but we're going to continue to work with them in any way that they think is best."

At the same time, Haley said, the United States and China are discussing the timing of a new Security Council resolution that would toughen sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launches.

The latest launch on Monday was the third in three weeks.

Beijing is North Korea's traditional ally and accounts for up to 90% of the isolated nation's external trade, giving it considerable economic leverage. But there are limits to China's influence and its willingness to use it.

North Korea has advanced its nuclear weapons programme over Chinese objections. Notwithstanding US calls for China to turn the screw, Beijing remains reluctant to impose biting economic pressure as it fears a North Korean collapse that would lead to instability on China's doorstep.

China's UN ambassador, Liu Jieyi, made clear last week that Beijing's top priority is to restart talks with North Korea following its multiple tests to try to reduce tensions rather than impose new sanctions.

He stressed that all progress with Pyongyang on eliminating nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula has come through dialogue.
Haley said Washington and Beijing are trying to decide the best way to approach North Korea.

"I don't think it's backpedalling as much as nothing is changing North Korea's actions," she said. "If this is going to happen every other day, how should we respond in a way that we actually stop these things, or slow it down?"

"I think we're having those conversations this week, and I hope that we can come up with a final solution," Haley added.

'Hostile policy'

Earlier this month, she said Beijing was not engaging on a new resolution, but she told reporters on Tuesday that she has heard from the Chinese and the discussions now are about "at what point do we do the resolution".

The Security Council has imposed six rounds of increasingly tough sanctions on North Korea.

Pyongyang's reaction has been defiance and stepped up testing to improve its nuclear arsenal and achieve its goal of being able to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.

In a sign of growing US anxiety over North Korea's weapons development, the Pentagon said on Tuesday it had shot down a mock warhead over the Pacific.

It was the first test in three years of a US-based missile defence system and the first ever targeting an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing.

North Korea's deputy UN ambassador, Kim In Ryong, told UN correspondents on May 19 that his government will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the US maintains its "hostile policy" toward the country.

He said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean peninsula it should replace the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, which he called "the root cause of all problems".

The Trump administration has said there should be no talks until North Korea takes steps toward getting rid of its nuclear arsenal.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  china  |  us  |  north korea  |  north korea nuclear programme

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.