Like Trump, China Has No Good North Korea Options: QuickTake Q&A

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US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday the failed North Korean missile test over the weekend was an attempt by the reclusive country to "provoke something", pledging that the United States will work with China to reduce tensions.

Responding to a question on recent comments made by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the Russian foreign minister said he hoped the U.S. would not employ tactics similar to the recent Syria strike on the Korean Peninsula. It would be the end of North Korea. "It's an inhospitable place-it's cold and barren".

"The alliance between the United States and Japan is the cornerstone of peace and security in Northeast Asia", he told Abe.

"I wouldn't describe relations between North Korea and the Obama administration as an era of strategic patience, because the United States greatly restricted North Korea's ability to develop the industries that could promote the nuclear or energy sectors". Trump doesn't seem to know exactly who the leader of North Korea is - or have any grasp of how long he's been in power.

If North Korea collapsed and was absorbed by the South, the unified government would probably seek to maintain its US alliance as insurance against an even more powerful neighbor: China.

US President Donald Trump has said that will not happen, and stepped up pressure on the isolated North.

The Pentagon has not discussed which missile blew up after the North's launch on Sunday from a base near Sinpo on its east coast, and the White House has said only that it was a medium-range device. "Now is the time to stop", he said. Regime change threatens to establish a new, US -allied Korea on its northeastern frontier as any leader outside the Kim dynasty would struggle to gain legitimacy. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of North Korea to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

"While all options are on the table", Pence said, "President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region, and with China" to resolve the problem.

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However, Trump has also shown the willingness to link trade to other issues, saying he would cut a better trade deal with China if it exerts influence on North Korea.

He said that an "all-out war" would result if the U.S. took military action.

Soon after Trump took office, he pulled the USA out of the TPP - which needed all the signatory nations to ratify the deal. The high-profile failure came as the North tried to showcase its nuclear and missile capabilities around the birth anniversary of the North's late founder and as a USA aircraft carrier neared the Korean Peninsula.

The concerns were exacerbated after a North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said.

"China's trying to help us", Trump told Earhardt.

The probability of Aegis interceptors missing a North Korean target would be embarrassing for the U.S. and embolden Pyongyang.

North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC that missiles would be tested on "a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

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