Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

China fears North Korea-US conflict 'at any moment'

There can be no winners in a war between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programmes, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said overnight, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides.

American and Chinese officials have discussed the possibility of cutting off oil imports in response to more nuclear provocations from North Korea.

Its research suggested a range between 10 and 16 such weapons two years earlier. The margins represent uncertainty as to whether North Korea has one or two uranium enrichment facilities.

Trump has threatened that if Beijing isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the US might take the matter into its own hands. "The bottom line is that North Korea has an improving nuclear weapons arsenal", said David Albright, the institute's president. "We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike".

Multiple senior members of the USA intelligence community confirmed to NBC that two naval destroyers with missile-launching capabilities have been stationed off the coast of North Korea in the event that President Kim Jong-Un follows through on the nuclear testing.

Trump and aides have said the United States will address the North Korea on its own if China doesn't.

China's comments come amid a series of escalations across the Korean peninsula in recent weeks and increasing concern that U.S. President Donald Trump's maverick foreign policy approach could lead to an intervention.

Saturday marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of its first leader, Kim Il-sung. It can not lead to an arms control agreement or reduction of the North's atomic arsenal that would imply American acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear power. It also fears the collapse of the North Korean regime, which would remove a buffer between China and a country with U.S. military bases, and has thus always been wary of pushing Pyongyang too hard. Russian Federation and China are critical to any pressure campaign on North Korea because they both hold veto power on the U.N. Security Council.

It comes after North Korean Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol told the Associated Press the country was prepared to used its "powerful nuclear deterrent" if provoked by America.

"If the USA comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with the DPRK's pre-emptive strike". He ordered a cruise missile attack on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack, and the U.S. military just used a huge bomb against so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan. The carrier group includes the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, with support from several missile destroyers and missile cruisers.

But a US military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said the USA doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch. More damage to fragile US-North Korea relations could be done this coming weekend, when North Korea celebrates the birthday of its founder (typically a time to try out new military equipment) and Trump stews alone at his golf club in Florida. However, the United States has numerous military bases in South Korea that could be targets for an attack.

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