U.S. President Joe Biden will warn Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting on Monday that North Korea’s continued pursuit of weapons development will lead to an enhanced U.S. military presence in the region, the White House said.
The United States is concerned that North Korea plans to resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017 and believes China and Russia have the leverage to persuade it not to do so.
Biden and Xi are set to hold their first face-to-face meeting as national leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the G20 grouping of countries in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would tell Xi that North Korea represented a threat, not just to the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan, but to peace and stability across the entire region.
“If North Korea keeps going down this road, it will simply mean further enhanced American military and security presence in the region,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday, as Biden flew to Cambodia for regional meetings at the weekend.
“And so the People’s Republic of China has an interest in playing a constructive role in restraining North Korea’s worst tendencies,” Sullivan added, using the country’s official name.
“Whether they choose to do so or not, is, of course, up to them.” U.S.-led international sanctions have failed to halt North Korea’s growing weapons programs. Its record-breaking regime of weapons tests this year have included intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to reach the U.S. mainland.
While China and Russia backed toughened United Nations sanctions after North Korea’s last nuclear test in 2017, in May they vetoed a U.S.-led push for more U.N. penalties over its renewed ballistic missile launches. (SOURCE)