North Korea threatens 'nuclear thunderbolts' as US and China finally work together
While North Korea stands ready to carry out another provocative nuclear test on Saturday, which will mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of the regime's founder, Kim Il Sung, threats and provocations from the Kim regime have become common.
But the cooperation seen lately between the world's two greatest powers on containing Kim's nuclear ambitions is new.
"Currently, with the cooperation of 'somebody,' the US is planning to collapse our system, the action that is such a naive and foolish delusion," NKNews.com reports a North Korean think tank as saying.
That reference to "somebody" appears to be a swipe at China, who recently rejected coal shipments from the hermit kingdom, thereby hamstringing the North Korean economy. Additionally, China announced it would suspend their only direct flights to North Korea on Friday, according to the South China Morning Post.
While China has signed on to every UN resolution against North Korea since 2006, they remain North Korea's biggest economic and political backer. But ever since US President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and threatened trade retaliation against China should they fail to cooperate on denuclearizing North Korea, the Chinese have signaled a new willingness to act.
Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart that "the way you're gonna make a good trade deal is to help us with North Korea, otherwise we're just going to go it alone" at a press conference on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, despite sensational reports that the US and North Korea stand at the brink of all-out war, Director of Jilin University's Institute of Northeast Asian Studies Gui Rui told the Associated Press that war isn't likely.
Instead, he said that should Pyongyang carry out their test, the regime can expect harsher rebukes from Beijing, who could single-handedly hobble North Korea by restricting their energy trade, and thereby accomplish what decades of UN sanctions have failed to do - destabilization of the Kim regime.
"I was very impressed with President Xi," said Trump of the pair's early April meeting. "I think he means well and he wants to help, we'll see if he does."
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