If there was ever a question as to where China sits at the table when it comes to the conflict between the United States and North Korea, the answer has been given. It sits with North Korea.
If North Korea launches an attack against the United States, the Chinese government says that it will stay neutral; but if the United States should attack North Korea first in an effort to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime, China will stop it, Chinese state media said on Friday.
“If the U.S. 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,” reported the Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper controlled by the Communist Party.
The White House has not yet responded to China’s latest comments.
Despite China’s position, other Asia-Pacific countries are now coming out in support of the United States in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack.
Japan’s defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, said this week that his nation’s military was ready to shoot down North Korean nuclear missiles, if necessary.
In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that his country and the United States are “joined at the hip,” the South China Morning Post reported.
“If there is an attack on the U.S., the Anzus Treaty would be invoked,” said Turnbull in an interview on Friday, noting that Australia would come to our country’s aid. The Anzus Treaty is a collective security agreement between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
North Korea threatened the United States with a nuclear attack on Guam, a U.S. territory south of Japan, after President Donald J. Trump said additional threats against the country or its allies would be met with “fire and fury.”
On Thursday, the president doubled-down on his remarks, saying his original comment possibly “wasn’t tough enough.”
In a separate appearance, Trump added: “Let’s see what [Kim Jong Un] does with Guam. He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before – what will happen in North Korea.”
One North Korean government official accused Trump of “going senile.”
Meanwhile, General Mattis warned on Thursday that war with North Korea would be catastrophic.
Mattis, who was in California at the time, told a group of reporters the following: “The American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results and I want to stay right there right now.”
Pressed by reporters to indicate whether the United States is prepared to fight in a war against North Korea, Defense Sec. Mattis replied, “I don’t tell the enemy in advance what I’m going to do … We’re ready.”
General Mattis asked reporters, “How often to do you see France, China, Russia, the U.S. voting unanimously on any issue?” His question followed his reminder that the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted last week to mark North Korea as a “threat to the world’s community.”
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