Trump follows up by phone with China’s Xi, U.S military steps up preparations near North Korea

by WorldTribune Staff, April 12, 2017

In a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on April 12, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that China “is committed to the target of denuclearization” on the Korean peninsula.

Trump and Xi spoke just days after their summit at Mar-a-Lago, Florida and amid escalating tensions in the region.

USS Carl Vinson. /U.S. military photo

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is headed to the region and the U.S. has also deployed an aircraft that specializes in detecting radioactive debris to Okinawa, Japan.

A state-run Chinese newspaper warned that the Korean peninsula was the closest it has been to a “military clash” since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.

In reaction to last week’s U.S. missile launches against Syria, North Korea warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the United States attempts a pre-emptive strike.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired nearly 30 missiles since last year.

Xi told Trump on April 12 that China is intent on “safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means”, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix — commonly referred to as a nuke-sniffer — arrived at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa on April 7, Stars & Stripes reported.

The Constant Phoenix specializes in detecting radioactive debris after the detonation of a nuclear device.

A senior Japan Self-Defense Forces official confirmed the aircraft’s arrival.

Trump tweeted on April 11 that North Korea was “looking for trouble” and the United States would “solve the problem” with or without China’s help.

Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-Ahn warned that the Kim Jong-Un regime may conduct “provocations” in connection with several upcoming events.

On April 15, Pyongyang will celebrate the 105th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, its late founder and grandfather of Kim Jong-Un. On April 25, North Korea will mark the 85th anniversary of its Korean People’s Army. In May, South Korea will hold presidential elections.