Published: Fri, September 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Maximum pressure: China urges U.S. to 'make efforts' on North Korea

Maximum pressure: China urges U.S. to 'make efforts' on North Korea

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the former national security advisor John Bolton was not aligned with his administration's priorities, saying Bolton made some mistakes, including offending North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un by demanding that he follow a "Libyan model" and hand over all his nuclear weapons.

North Korea yesterday morning fired two unidentified projectiles, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, hours after a senior diplomat announced that Pyongyang would be willing to resume negotiations with the USA later this month.

Kim, who is also the supreme commander of the Communist state's armed forces, "gave field guidance to the test-fire of super-large multiple rocket launcher again on Tuesday".

North Korea has now launched weapons on eight occasions since July 25, as negotiations with the United States have stalled over the scope of the reclusive country's denuclearization, and the amount of sanctions relief to be granted in return.

After more than a year of refraining from missile tests, Kim's regime has conducted 10 launches since May, including the one on Tuesday.

North Korea is widely believed to want the United States to provide it with security guarantees and extensive relief from US -led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said in a statement that the North is willing to sit down with the United States "at the time and place to be agreed late in September".

Kim, who has suspended testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles while engaged in talks with the USA, has given Trump until the end of the year to ease up on sanctions choking his state's anemic economy.

Kim and Trump agreed to restart working-level talks within a few weeks when they met at the inter-Korean border in late June, but the talks have not been held amid heightened tensions amid the North's continued weapons tests. Choe had also said the talks could take place in late September.

Wang did not mention North Korea's recent weapons tests.

USA officials have called these short-range missile launches provocations, although Trump himself has avoided criticising them. The first test of the weapon occurred on August 24.

A report published by a United Nations panel of experts last week said the North's development of nuclear warheads has not stopped, despite a moratorium it declared on nuclear blasts and long-range missile launches.

February's summit broke down due to differences over how to exchange sanctions relief for denuclearization measures, with the North demanding the lifting of all major sanctions in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, and the US demanding the North take greater denuclearization measures.

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