Trump, Xi huddle by phone on Korea; Pyongyang threatens Seoul for aligning with West

by WorldTribune Staff, August 13, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone on Aug. 12 and reached an agreement that North Korea “must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump and Xi “also reiterated their mutual commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the White House statement said, adding that “the relationship between the two presidents is an extremely close one, and will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Donald Trump

On Aug. 13, Pyongyang ramped up its rhetoric, blasting South Korea for “considering the U.S. its savior.”

“The South Korean authorities are cringing before their U.S. boss, who said he doesn’t care if thousands of people in this land die, by imploring him not to go to war,” the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling party, said in a commentary.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In said that he and President Trump were in agreement on the need for maximum pressure on the Kim Jong-Un regime.

The Rodong Sinmun urged Seoul to stop the “humiliating subordinate relationship,” saying “destroying the invasive ambitions of the U.S.” is the only way to prevent war.

China’s state-run CCTV reported that Xi had also urged Trump to “avoid hawkish remarks that could exacerbate already highly running tension on the Korean Peninsula.”

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his country would immediately joint the conflict and back the U.S. should North Korea launch an attack on the United States mainland or any of its overseas territories including Guam.

“America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Turnbull told local radio station 3AW on Aug. 11.

“So be very, very clear on that. If there’s an attack on the U.S., the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked.”

The ANZUS Treaty binds the U.S., Australia and New Zealand together in a defense pact covering military matters in the Pacific Ocean region.

Turnbull said he had discussed North Korea’s provocations with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, calling the situation “the most dangerous flashpoint in the world today.”

“But be under no misapprehension, in terms of defense, we are joined at the hip,” Turnbull said. “The American alliance is the absolute bedrock of our national security. If there is an attack on the U.S. … we would come to their aid.”

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