Xi stresses China's North Korea concerns in talk with Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the situation in North Korea and Syria with US President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said, in what one analyst described as a "new phase" of China-US relations on North Korea.

The Trump administration has said resuming talks with the North is a possibility, but only if the Kim regime ceases all nuclear and missile testing.

In the long term, the USA should take the bold, but not unreasonable step to recognize North Korea diplomatically, make the transition from the 1953 ceasefire agreement to a peace treaty, and stop making military or regime change threats in exchange for the North abandoning its nuclear program for good.

A naval strike group - including the Nimitz-class aircraft supercarrier USS Carl Vinson, a carrier air wing, two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser - has been sent to the western Pacific Ocean after North Korea tested a missile last week. It was not immediately clear who initiated the call.

The call came after Trump warned in a pair of tweets Tuesday that North Korea "is looking for trouble" and vowed to get Kim Jong-Un's regime under control with or without China's help. If not, we will solve the problem without them!

"China is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with the USA side", Xi said.

Earlier yesterday, sources in Tokyo said Japan's navy planned exercises with the Carl Vinson group in a joint show of force.

U.S. intelligence officials fear that the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, could be preparing a nuclear weapons test in the coming days, possibly to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung.

The newspaper is published by the same state-run stable that owns the Communist Party's official organ, the People's Daily.

The U.S. fired missiles on a Syrian airbase last week in response to the attack, just as Trump and Xi sat down for dinner at the president's resort.

Japan plans to send several warships to the Korean Peninsula to join the US warship Carl Vinson, which was redeployed to the region Monday according to reports. Pyongyang claims it is pursuing nuclear weapons to defend itself from what it calls U.S. aggression.

North Korea has issued a threat of a nuclear strike on the United States at any sign of American aggression.

USA vice-president Mike Pence will meet Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on April 22 for talks that are expected to be centred around regional security and North Korea.

Saturday will be the 105th birthday of the founding leader. Reuters said the Japanese military did not respond to its request for official comment. They told the news agency that the Japanese military planned to join the US forces for drills when the Carl Vinson moved through waters near Japan.

The deployment was followed by a renewed warning that Washington was ready to take on North Korea alone if Beijing declined to help rein in its maverick neighbour's nuclear ambitions.

"In fact, I think the outside exaggerates the sort of role China can play".


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