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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Trump Criticizes China Following North Korean Missile Launch

By VOA News July 29, 2017

President Donald Trump is again criticizing China for failing to stop North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Following Friday's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed west of Japan, the U.S. president singled out China for blame on Saturday evening, saying the country could "easily solve this problem."

Trump's remarks echoed those made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who released a statement that blamed both China and Russia for North Korea's continued violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"As the principal economic enablers of North Korea's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program, China and Russia bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability," Tillerson said.

In April, Trump praised his first meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, later telling reporters that Xi had agreed to suspend coal and fuel shipments to pressure North Korea to stop its belligerent behavior. However, since then, the North has continued to threaten its neighbors and the United States, and Trump has grown more critical of Beijing.

North Korea's missile launch Friday was its second this month. Even though the missile landed west of Japan, experts said it would be powerful enough to reach much of the U.S. mainland. North Korea's official news agency said leader Kim Jong Un boasted that the latest test was "meant to send a grave warning to the U.S."

China condemned the launch, while Japan, South Korea and the U.S. vowed to work together on a new Security Council measure aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Word of Friday's missile launch came as a bill approved by Congress calling for tougher sanctions on North Korea, as well as Iran and Russia, landed on Trump's desk.

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