South Korea’s president on Monday urged China to use its influence to stop North Korea from conducting a nuclear test, warning that failure to do so would result in an influx of military assets in the region.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that North Korea’s missile provocations caused Japan to increase its defense spending and the United States to station more military assets in the region, which he believed would also affect China.
“What is sure is that China has the capability to influence North Korea, and China has the responsibility to engage in that process,” he said in an interview with Reuters, referring to China’s obligations as the U.N. Security Council member.
Yoon said that China will need to decide whether or not to use its power over North Korea to keep peace and stability in the region, but warned that any North Korean nuclear test would be met with a response “not seen in the past” by South Korea and its partners.
“It would be extremely unwise for North Korea to conduct a seventh nuclear test,” the president said. “We must respond consistently and in lockstep with each other.”
Yoon said the United States would maintain its current 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, although the two allies had agreed to use “all available levers” under the Extended Deterrence Strategy to deter North Korea’s nuclear threat.
President Joe Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia on Nov. 14 and urged China to rein in North Korea’s missile launches.
Biden warned that failure to do so would result in the United States taking defensive actions that would be “more up in the face of China” to safeguard its allies.
Beijing Pledges Cooperation With North Korea
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Nov. 27 that Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged messages in which the Chinese leader pledged to make “contributions to providing the people of the two countries with excellent welfare” and to “promote regional and global peace and stability.”
Xi said that China was willing to work with North Korea as “changes in the world, the times and history are now taking place in an unprecedented manner.”
China is a major ally of North Korea, accounting for 90 percent of its bilateral trade. China and Russia had previously vetoed a vote pushed by the United States to strengthen sanctions on North Korea.
Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been stalled since a February 2019 summit between former President Donald Trump, and Kim ended without a deal, as Washington refused to lift sanctions in exchange for Pyongyang’s dismantling of nuclear weapons.
U.S.-based China affairs commentator Wang He said that it was difficult for the United States to resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue because the Kim regime and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are secretly cooperating.
“For the CCP, it’s very natural for them to support North Korea in developing nuclear weapons and missiles and to put on a show while collaborating behind the scenes with the Kim regime. It’s the CCP’s strategy to contain the United States,” Wang He wrote in an article published in The Epoch Times last year.
Chen Pokong, an analyst and author on Chinese politics, said that vice premier Qian Qichen, in a bid to save his son from corruption charges, told U.S. intelligence agencies that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were fostered by Beijing for the purpose of countering the U.S.’s influence over Taiwan.
Citing Wikileaks documents that no longer appear to be available, Chen said the two countries’ ultimate goal was to make the United States choose between abandoning Taiwan or facing war with North Korea.
Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.