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Iran Press TV

Trump has limited options to stop North Korea's new missiles

Iran Press TV

Wed Jul 5, 2017 3:26PM

US President Donald Trump has criticized China for failing to do more to pressure North Korea on its nuclear and missile program, but his options for dealing with the threat are limited.

Trump said on Wednesday that a surge in trade between North Korea and China in the first quarter of 2017 proved that Beijing would not work with Washington to stop Pyongyang's missile and weapons programs.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" Trump said in a tweet.

Trump has said that he would never allow the North to develop such a capability, but his options for dealing with the threat are limited.

His comments on social media suggested that the US president is struggling to find a way to pressure China to use its influence on the North to de-escalate tensions.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner and ally.

China's trade with North Korea grew 37.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to reports published in US media.

Chinese exports surged 54.5 percent and imports increased 18.4 percent, according to reports in the New York Times and Financial Times.

Trump posted the Wednesday tweet prior to leaving for Warsaw, Poland, on his way to a Group of 20 summit in Germany on Friday and Saturday.

North Korea launched a new inter-continental ballistic missile (ICMB) on Tuesday which analysts said was capable of reaching the US states of Hawaii and Alaska.

American intelligence officials believe the missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

US officials say Washington is losing patience with Beijing's unwillingness to push Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

In a phone call on Monday, Trump warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that the United States is prepared to act on its own in increasing pressure on North Korea.

North Korea insists that it must continue forward with its missile and nuclear development programs as a deterrent force against the US aggression and invasion.

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