China on Tuesday called for calm and restraint after its close ally North Korea successfully fired an inter-continental ballistic missile, triggering a Twitter out burst from US President Donald Trump who asked Beijing to take tough action against Pyongyang.
North Korea on Tuesday said that it has successfully launched an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), calling it amile stone in its missile development programme.
"China urges the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,(DPRK) to refrain from acts that violate UN Security Council resolutions so as to create necessary conditions for resuming dialogue and negotiation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokes man Geng Shuang told a media briefing.
But at the same time, he called for calm and restraint amid speculation of a retaliation from the US. "We hope all relevant parties can exercise calm and restraint, avoid taking actions that may escalate tensions,and make efforts to bring the issue back to peaceful settlement through dialogue and consultation," Geng said, reiterating Beijing's oft repeated stand whenever DPRK, theofficial name of North Korea, conducts missile tests. UN Security Council resolutions ban the DPRK from conducting any launches that use ballistic missile technology,nuclear tests or any other provocation.
The successful missile test, believed to be a powerfulone, is regarded as a game changer for Pyongyang to ward off pressure being built by the US, South Korea and Japan which are deeply concerned over its nuclear programme and tough stance pursued by North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-un.
The "landmark" test of a Hwasong-14 missile was over seenby leader Kim himself and an emotional woman anchor of the North Korean state-run television said it flew 933 kms. DPRK has become "a strong nuclear power state" and had "avery powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world",she said. This is the first such claim by North Korea. Reports from Japan said the missile landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) after being launched near anairfield in Panghyon, about 100 km northwest of Pyongyang. North Korean missile and nuclear threat figures highly in telephone talk between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump is pressuring China to prevail on its ally and pressure North Korea to abandon the missile programme. "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" Trump tweeted earlier. For its part, China has been saying that it is strictly implementing UN Security Council resolutions and was reluctant to go beyond that.
Trump has been expressing frustration saying that Chinais not so helpful over the North Korean issue. In his phone talks with Trump, Xi told him that China-US relations have been affected by some negative factors, and the Chinese side has already expressed its position to the United States, apparently referring to US' arms sales to Taiwan.
With North Korea now launching its first ICBM, observershere say it will add more pressure on Trump to act on his poll promise to blunt North Korea?s nuclear threats. The US has already placed THAAD (Terminal High AltitudeArea Defence) in South Korea, which has angered China as itspowerful radars has the potential to monitor deep into China's territory.