05:18 GMT +319 November 2019
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    A ballistic rocket is test-fired through a precision control guidance system in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) May 30, 2017

    'Swordplay' Between China, N Korea is Not What US and Allies Perceive It to Be

    Asia & Pacific
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    At a conference on disarmament in Geneva, the DPRK accused China and the US of displaying "arbitrariness" and "self-will" in the UN. Sputnik spoke with Russian experts, Konstantin Asmolov and Alexander Voronstov about the future of relations between the DPRK and China.

    The North Korean representative rejected, as he put it, "deliberately concocted" sanctions that were initiated by China and the United States.

    Pyongyang, for the first time, chose an international platform for public criticism of Beijing. Previously, similar sharp assessments were voiced only through the DPRK’s state TV channel. 

    The strongest anti-Chinese rhetoric took place on May 4. Back then the negative reaction was caused by the publication of the central Chinese newspaper stating, "North Korean nuclear forces pose a threat to China's national interests." 

    North Korea’s agency KCNA expressed irritation at China, which was caused by the Chinese newspaper’s article, in which it "laid the blame on Pyongyang for the deterioration of relations between the two neighboring states." 

    The state channel then urged China to no longer test the patience of the DPRK and make the right strategic choice, accusing it of agreeing with US attempts to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

    Sputnik spoke to an expert with the Institute of the Far East, Konstantin Asmolov, who said that it seems that Pyongyang has raised the degree of offensive propaganda, but this will not affect the nature of interstate relations.

    “Currently there is some swordplay between China and the DPRK, but China’s pressure still has a certain limit. The Northerners are carrying out some verbal attacks on China, but this does not mean that the situation has radically changed. It only changes radically in the opinions of the United States and its allies,” Asmolov said.

    The US is “comforting itself” by thinking that it managed to “bend China under” itself but that is not the case.

    According to the expert, Beijing did not weaken its diplomatic support of Pyongyang despite the criticism of the DPRK’s nuclear missile program. 

    “On the contrary, China at a high level supports the initiative of the DPRK to stop its nuclear tests in exchange for the cessation of naval exercises of the United States and South Korea,” the expert said.

    Alexander Vorontsov, an expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences also spoke with Sputnik saying, “The North Koreans do not want to negotiate on the terms of their surrender. They will not continue to do this. The prerequisites under Barack Obama and now under the new US president differ little from each other.”

    Voronstov further said that China is trying to bring in sanctions against the DPRK in smaller doses so as to not close the door for a negotiated solution to the issue. 

    “China will never go on strangling the North Korea like the US is doing because it is not in its [China’s] national interest,” the analyst said.

    On June 8, North Korea launched four missiles from Wonsan, a port city on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, into the Sea of Japan. According to Pyongyang, the launch was a test of a new ship-killing missile. 

    North Korea said its test was a success. The surface-to-sea munitions hit static targets in the ocean after making “circular flights,” KCNA quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as saying. 

    North Korea’s claim of victory has not been independently verified.

    On Tuesday, Sputnik reported the withdrawal of US aircraft carriers from the Sea of Japan – in North Korea’s front yard. The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson had been monitoring possible military action from the North while showing Pyongyang the extent of the US Navy’s reach and might.


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    bilateral cooperation, nuclear threat, interview, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China
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