China Worried Nuclear Fallout Could Force Hand on North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. 
     
    
                   
     
     
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A flurry of conversations among regional and world leaders about North Korea has been prompted by Pyongyang's explosion of what it said, and several global experts concurred, was a hydrogen bomb at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Sunday.

Trump on Wednesday said that military action was not his "first choice", but only weeks earlier vowed to rain "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if the North did not stop threatening the United States and its allies.

The US wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers overseas, and subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera suggested implementing stronger economic penalties to encourage North Korea to alter its behavior.

North Korea said it would respond to any new United Nations sanctions and U.S. pressure with "powerful counter measures", accusing the USA of aiming for war. To date, all of North Korea's six nuclear tests have taken place at its underground testing site in Punggye-ri which makes verification hard.

Xi said China had been adamant in preserving worldwide nuclear non-proliferation, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and resolving the nuclear issue through talks, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The United States would have the option of invoking the NATO Charter and its important Article 5, asking for formal military aid from the alliance, just like they did after 9/11.

Following a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the United States president did not rule out military action but indicated his administration would first find other avenues to put pressure on Pyongyang.

Russian Federation says it is strictly implementing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but in its public pronouncements it has taken a more doveish approach than most Western countries.

Kim Jong-un

However, there are no reports of Kim receiving a message of greetings from Chinese President Xi Jinping, a possible indication of fraying ties between the two neighbors.

"Our assessment is that the North can carry out a nuclear test at tunnel 3 or 4 of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site", a government official said on customary condition of anonymity.

Earlier this month North Korea tested what US officials now believe was a thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bomb - which could have a much larger impact than a conventional nuclear weapon. "The U.S. will receive more "gift packages" from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK", he warned.

According to a representative of Liberty Korea Party, President Moon Jae-in's emphasis on "tentative" nature of the deployment of US THAAD makes it seem as if it could be stopped at any moment.

But Putin made clear that Russian Federation was opposed to further interdictions, and while China - North Korea┬┤s patron and closest political and economic partner - has yet to be drawn on the issue, it tends to resist placing pressure on Pyongyang.

South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Haley said that the USA would circulate a resolution in response to the nuclear test, with plans for a vote on it next week.

"We believe we need to economically cut off North Korea while they do this action", Mnuchin said.

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