THE MOUTHPIECE of the Chinese Communist Party has said that US President Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was “not what one expects from a US President” and that it had reduced hope for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Trump delivered his first address to the 193-member body on Tuesday, which was criticised by many for its aggressive tone including threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea and mocking the rogue state’s leader Kim Jong Un as “rocket man.”
In an editorial on Wednesday, the Chinese English-language daily Global Times said that while Trump’s anger toward Pyongyang was “understandable” and that China “firmly opposes” the country’s nuclear ambitions, that pressure alone could not resolve the issue.
“Trump’s UN remarks dampened public hopes for the US to ease the situation,” it said. “Facts prove Pyongyang won’t yield to pressure. Pushing North Korea to its limit may eventually trigger a bloody war.”
North Korea’s nuclear programme has seen heightened tensions in recent months, with the US President warning of “fire and fury” if it continued to act aggressively towards the United States and its allies.
China is North Korea’s closest ally and largest trading partner. It has said it is prepared to pay the price of economic sanctions on the North if it means securing world peace.
Since February 2017, North Korea has fired 22 missiles as part of 15 tests, including missiles over Japan on the 29th of August and the 15th of September. Nevertheless, many accuse the Trump administration of excessive and provocative rhetoric towards Pyongyang.
In the editorial on Wednesday, the Global Times argued that “Washington is too obsessed with its strength. Its elites hold the view that as long as the US applies pressure to the full, it can crush any will that confronts the US.”
The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley over the weekend also warned that “North Korea will be destroyed” if it continues down its “reckless” path of nuclear expansion.
After Trump’s speech on Tuesday, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters that it was a “bombastic, nationalist speech … it was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience.”
“If a nuclear war broke out, that would be a crime against Chinese and South Koreans by Pyongyang and Washington,” said the Global Times.