North Korea’s hydrogen bomb sets off ‘tremors’ at BRICS summit
Prime Minister Narendra Mod iis likely to discuss the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Monday afternoon.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 09:59 IST
Residents of Yanji town near the China-North Korea border felt the tremors from the impact of the hydrogen bomb test which Pyongyang carried out on Sunday.
Thousands of miles away, the test shook the south-eastern coastal city of Xiamen, where leaders of the BRICS countries, including Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, have gathered for the 9th summit of the group.
Modi is likely to discuss the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Monday afternoon.
The test has also put China in tighter bind about how to deal with its key ally amid rising international pressure, led by the US, to be more firm on the reclusive, dictatorial regime.
Ironically, the test fell into a pattern — Pyongyang had also carried out a missile test to coincide with the high-profile Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) forum in May.
China, of course, was quick to state its “firm opposition to and strong condemnation”.
In a statement, its ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) said China’s firm stance, as well as the common goal of the international community, is achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula, protecting the nuclear non-proliferation mechanism and maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia.
Later, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian’s Putin agreed to “appropriately deal with” the matter during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit.
“The two leaders agreed to stick to the goal of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and keep close communication and coordination to deal with the new situation,” official news agency Xinhua said.
But China’s apparently ambiguous stance on North Korea was possibly — at least partially — reflected in an editorial piece in the nationalistic Global Times newspaper which blamed the escalating tension on the Washington-Seoul alliance.
Calling for an end to Chinese sanctions on North Korea if the latter’s “nuclear activities don’t contaminate China’s north-eastern regions”, the daily said the military pressure of the Washington-Seoul alliance generates a sense of insecurity in Pyongyang, which takes to nuclear empowerment to guarantee its survival.