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WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, urging him to use “all available levers” to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearisation after Pyongyang tested an ICBM that can reach anywhere in the US.
During the phone call, Trump underscored the determination of the US to defend itself and its allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime, the White House said.
The two leaders discussed North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, it said.
The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea on Tuesday, and travelled about 1000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Economic Exclusion Zone.
“Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump tweeted.
Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major san… https://t.co/h6Gq5vdcso
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
The White House said that President Trump emphasised the need for China to use “all available levers” to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearisation.
Within hours of North Korean missile launch, Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss their collective response to the latest provocative behaviour by Pyongyang.
“We will take care of it. .. It is a situation we will handle,” Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt room of the White House soon after North Korea’s ballistic missile test.
China is North Korea’s only major ally and biggest trading partner.
In response to Trump’s demands, Beijing has backed increasingly tough UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea to convince it to return to talks.
In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed “grave concern” over North Korea’s ICBM test and asked its ally to stop actions that heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Beijing also asked North Korea to strictly abide by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on the use of the ballistic missile technology.