With all eyes on North Korea, China quietly tests missiles over weekend, US officials tell Fox

By Lucas Tomlinson

As the world reacted to North Korea’s record-setting long-range missile test Friday, one day later and hundreds of miles away, China quietly performed a dramatic series of missile tests of its own, designed U.S. officials say, to send a message to the United States and the world.

On Saturday, U.S. spy agencies detected the Chinese military launching a series of 20 missiles at mock up targets designed to look like American THAAD missile batteries and advanced US Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets.

China has long protested the deployment of U.S. THAAD anti-ballistic missiles to South Korea, and doubled down on its condemnation after the government in Seoul said they want four more American launchers over the weekend following North Korea’s second KN-20 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.

Officials believe the Chinese military tested intermediate, medium and cruise missiles and were also meant to coincide with China’s Army Day celebrations on August 1st, when China staged a massive military parade involving 12,000 troops in the desert along with dozens of tanks, jets and missiles.  Chinese state media said it was the first time China ever celebrated Army Day with a parade, attended by China’s President Xi Jinping and Beijing’s military chief.

China currently has as many destroyers, crusiers and submarines as the U.S. Navy.  Beijing recently put a new type of destroyer in the water which analysts say rivals advanced American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Days before the China missile tests Saturday, U.S. military satellites also detected a failed attempt of China’s anti-ballistic missile system—Beijing’s version of the US THAAD system

At the State Department Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the United States and China are at a “pivot point” in history.

Tillerson acknowledged differences between super powers over North Korea and Beijing’s continued island construction of military bases in the South China Sea.

“We will deal with those differences in a way that does not lead to open conflict,” Tillerson vowed.

China's U.N. envoy said this week said it’s up to the United States and North Korea, not Beijing, to reduce tensions and work toward resuming talks to end Pyongyang's nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile programs.

Tillerson said yesterday “at some point” he would be open for talks with North Korea.

One day after North Korea’s record-setting intercontinental ballistic missile launch, President Trump tweeted that he was “very disappointed” in China for doing “nothing” to stop North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs.

State Department: China can do a whole lot more to bring pressure to North Korea

Reporting by Rich Edson

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet again tomorrow. President Trump said they made tremendous progress in their first meeting three months ago. Since then, this relationship has yielded disappointment.

China is the centerpiece of what the Trump administration calls its pressure campaign to isolate North Korea and force it to abandon its nuclear programs.

North Korea has continued developing its weapons programs, successfully testing for the first time—and on the 4th of July—an intercontinental ballistic missile.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert says they believe China can do more.

“I think we view it as there’s a lot of work left to be done. We’re still somewhat early on it the overall pressure campaign against North Korea. We continue to believe that China can do a whole lot more to try to bring additional pressure to North Korea.”

China accounts for about 90% of North Korea’s trade and Chinese government data shows that relationship grew nearly 40% in this year’s first three months compared to the same period last year.

Following North Korea’s latest launch, President Trump tweeted, “Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us—but we had to give it a try!”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China initially took significant action against North Korea, then paused. Last week, the Treasury Department sanctioned Chinese companies conducting business in North Korea.

“The sanctions action that was taken here just in the last week to 10 days certainly got their attention in terms of their understanding our resolve,” Tillerson said.

The State Department refuses to comment on additional penalties the U.S. may initiate against Chinese businesses.

Despite the U.S. disappointment with China, President Trump says his administration will continue to convince President Xi to confront North Korea.

China also continues floating a solution—the U.S. and South Korea suspend their joint military exercises, North Korea surrenders its weapons programs. The U.S. has rejected that approach, claiming its military exercises are defensive, and North Korea’s weapons programs are illegal.

 

North Korean Nuclear Threat

By Jake Smith

In 80 days of the Trump Administration, the regime of North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un has launched about half a dozen missiles. In response to the latest test, the USS Carl Vinson has navigated from its destination in Australia to the waters off of the Korean Peninsula.

“Carl Vinson Strike Group, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia,” according to a release by Admiral Harry Harris, Commander United States Pacific Command.

President Donald Trump has called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to assist in diminishing the threat from North Korea. Trump on Tuesday said North Korea “is looking for trouble” and has vowed to “solve the problem without” China.

“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem,” Trump tweeted hinting that a favorable US-China trade agreement could emerge if cooperation between the two powers to de-escalate the North Korean threat is successful.

China has responded by placing a total of 150,000 troops along the Chinese-North Korean border, signaling Chinese officials are attempting to deter a strike against the regime similar to the Syrian airstrike committed last week by the US, according to reports.

This all comes after President Trump’s exclusive interview the Financial Times last month where he said, “China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump said. “And if they do, that will be very good for China. And if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone. If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”

"Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland," North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said to the country in response to the USS Carl Vinson.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting President, has warned Pyongyang will “wage greater provocations such as a nuclear test timed with various anniversaries.” The next nuclear test could happen as soon as April 15, the anniversary of the communist country’s founding according to reports by The Wall Street Journal. 

Chinese newborn rescued from sewage pipe recovering

A newborn baby boy is in stable condition and  recovering at a local hospital in China after his first few hours of life were spent in a sewer pipe. Rescuers cut the infant from a pipe yesterday after residents reported hearing cries coming from a  public toilet at an apartment building. Miraculously, the baby boy survived the ordeal and his mother, 22 years of age, has come forward and could be charged with attempted homicide.  She reportedly told police she could not afford an abortion and gave birth secretly-- she also said she tried to catch the baby, but he slipped into the sewer.

People have been dropping off  formula, clothing, diapers and gifts to the hospital for the baby and many have even offered to adopt him. What do you think?  Should the mother be prosecuted? Share your thoughts on Twitter @BretBaier and @SpecialReport--

 

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