North Korea 'ready' for seismic shock

Syrian President Bashar Assad's chief ally - as the only veto-wielding council member to oppose the resolution.

The US president hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at his Mar a-Lago residence in Florida last week.

Many experts believe that at its current pace of testing, North Korea could reach that potentially game-changing milestone within a few years - under Trump's watch as president.

China has aligned itself with Russian Federation and, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, vetoed six Security Council measures on it.

So far, the third option appears to be the most popular within the Trump administration. There has been widespread speculation that North Korea would celebrate those occasions with either a sixth nuclear test or the ICBM launch it's always been working towards.

"In fact, I think the outside exaggerates the sort of role China can play".

"We don't know the real content of the conversation", said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of worldwide relations at Renmin University. Tensions are mounting amid evidence that North Korea is ready to conduct a sixth nuclear bomb test in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

President Trump has warned China he will address the threat posed by a rogue North Korea with or without help from Beijing.

North Korea has warned that a "big event" is near, and USA officials say signs point to a nuclear test that could come as early as this weekend. The group is expected to take up to nine days to arrive, USA officials have said. That led to last week's summit. North Korea has amassed "substantial amount" of chemical weapons produced at several facilities, he added, without citing sources.

A man looks from a boat at the port near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from Dandong in China's Liaoning Province, April 1, 2017.

"You want to make a great deal?"

Steven Weber, an global relations specialist from the University of California, Berkeley, said: "If you want regime change in North Korea then you have got to have a plan for how to manage that on the other side of the collapse - and that requires a long-term collaborative relationship between the Americans and the Chinese to make sure that whatever happens, and however that reconstruction emerges, is acceptable to both sides".

Trade has slowed at the border, Chinese transport workers said. The U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago. In a call with Trump on Wednesday, Xi reaffirmed China's belief that talks were the only way to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, according to state media.

The U.S. sent an aircraft carrier battle group into the area this week amid speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might conduct another nuclear test to mark his grandfather's birthday on Saturday.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the North was "looking for trouble" and if China didn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the US could handle it alone. On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory to Japanese residents and tourists in South Korea, reminding them of a growing tension. "Under the South Korea-US alliance, any important measure on the North is taken under consultation with the South Korea government and it will continue in the future", Mr Yun told a parliamentary hearing.

"President Trump's penchant for an unpredictable foreign policy does not sit well with Beijing, which calibrates its approach based on careful assumptions of USA consistency", said Tiffany Ma of the DC-based National Bureau of Asian Research.

  • Joanne Flowers