Following North Korea’s most recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, US President Donald Trump expressed his frustration with the regime’s “very bad behavior” at the G20 Summit, pressures China to sever economic ties with Pyongyang.

North Korea shows off its military capabilities

North Korea shows off its military capabilities Photo Credit: EPA

As the security situation in the Asia Pacific region heats up, North Korea was a hot topic among the international superpowers at the G20 Summit in Germany this weekend. Trump has met with both Japanese and South Korean officials to discuss taking additional measures against Pyongyang to make it clear that there would be “serious consequences” for its audacity- its most recent missile test in particular.

Calling North Korea a “problem and a menace” on Saturday at the G20 Summit, Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to try to further encourage Beijing to place pressure on Kim Jong Un to cease the development of nuclear weapons. The Trump administration ultimately hopes that China will join South Korea and Japan in enforcing trading sanctions on North Korea, hitherto a major trading partner feeding into the revenue of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Trump had turned to Twitter to complain about China’s continued trade with North Korea just a few days before the Hamburg summit, but took a lighter tone upon meeting with President Jinping. “As far as North Korea is concerned, we will have, eventually, success. It may take longer than I’d like. It may take longer than you’d like. But there will be success in the end one way or the other,” Trump said.

Japan and South Korea joined with the US to demand that the international community adopt the new UN security resolution targeting North Korea as well as additional sanctions. China would be an important ally for the plan to succeed; Beijing has said previously that China can not be alone in taking the necessary steps to curb North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and that the international community, fortified by UN resolutions, needed to step up. China has agreed to join US-led navy exercises next year and has insisted that it supports the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Last week, US Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley expressed her concerns that North Korea was “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” following its most recent ballistic test with a missile capable of reaching Alaska. She made it clear to Pyongyang that the US will not hesitate to use their “considerable military forces” should the need arise.

Chinese and American officials will be meeting towards the end of the month to address trade and economic concerns. In the meantime, the US is expected to propose further sanctions on the region, particularly directed at countries who still maintain trade relations with North Korea.