China will 'defend' North Korea

A STATE-run newspaper says China will remain neutral if North Korea attacks the United States. But if the US attacks Pyongyang - "we will stop them".

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric toward North Korea and its leader this morning, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or US allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific territory.

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. It has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the United States that it sees as escalating tensions.

The widely read state-run Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, wrote in an editorial that Beijing is not able to persuade either Washington or Pyongyang to back down.

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. It has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behaviour from South Korea and the United States that it sees as escalating tensions.

The widely read state-run Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, wrote in an editorial that Beijing is not able to persuade either Washington or Pyongyang to back down.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so."

China has long worried that any conflict on the Korean peninsula, or a repeat of the 1950-53 Korean War, could unleash a wave of destabilising refugees into its northeast, and could end up with a reunified county allied with the United States.

North Korea is a useful buffer state for China between it and US forces based in South Korea, and also across the sea in Japan.

The G lobal Timessaid China will "firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China's interests are concerned".

"The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region."

News Corp Australia

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