US, China at odds over path forward in Korean nuclear crisis

World Today

The Pentagon says the DPRK’s latest ICBM test shows progress in Pyongyang’s ballistic-missile program.

Kim Jong Un called the launch – a “gift” for Americans on their Independence Day.

A Pentagon spokesperson said Washington has never seen this missile before – and that it was fired from a mobile launcher – at a new location.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

Washington calls it a missile they’ve never seen before-one that’s capable of reaching the U.S. state of Alaska.

A Pentagon spokesperson also says it’s evidence that Pyongyang is getting closer to its goal of being able to threaten the U-S – and other nations – with a nuclear strike.

In response, Seoul released this simulation, showing a pre-emptive strike on a DPRK missile launch.

It showcases the South’s military strength. This missile hits what appears to be the North’s military forces.

R.O.K. President Moon Jae-in pledged to work closer with partners to secure more effective sanctions.

“This is a great threat and provocation. North Korea should stop this immediately and we should work on more intensive sanctions,” Moon said.

“At the G-20 summit we will hold talks with various government representatives, but at the same time I think that we must solve the North Korean issue through peaceful means.”

Like Seoul, Beijing is pushing for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through compromise. Both have suggest Pyongyang halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for South Korea stopping its annual military drills with the U.S.

“China opposes North Korea’s violation of (U.N.) Security Council resolutions by carrying out launch activities, and urges North Korea not to take actions that will violate U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Geng Shuang, China Foreign Ministry Spokesman said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G-20. Around 90 percent of Pyongyang’s foreign trade is with China.

Trump expected Beijing to use this leverage to induce the DPRK to cooperate.

But Trump appears disillusioned with this approach tweeting:

While that statistic is a matter of dispute, Washington is hardening its position with Beijing. Last week, it sanctioned four Chinese entities for allegedly financing the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

China’s U.S. Ambassador has rejected the sanctions as inappropriate-an attempt to impose U.S. laws on Chinese companies.

Meantime, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency has been developing technologies to defeat an ICBM attack. At the end of May, one of agency’s anti-ballistic missiles shot down a test ICBM over the Pacific. Engineers designed the incoming ICBM to replicate an attack from Iran or the DPRK.

On the diplomatic front, Washington is calling on nations around the world to enforce the U.N. sanctions, stop hosting Pyongyang’s guest workers and to sever diplomatic ties with Pyongyang. President Trump appealed to Egypt’s president to stop hosting those guest workers.

And the top U.S diplomat for DPRK policy is going to Singapore and Myanmar – to attend a meeting of nations that have been involved in the Six-party talks.