North Korea tests ICBM, China tells Trump to calm down – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for July 5, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

North Korea on July 4 successfully tested what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a “maximum range of roughly 4,160 miles, or 6,700 kilometers,” the New York Times reports (paywall). Analysts do not believe that the Hermit Kingdom has yet mastered the technology to reliably equip such a missile with a nuclear warhead, but the range is sufficient to reach the U.S. state of Alaska. Here is what was reported next:

  • The missile launch appears to have relied, in part, on the use of a converted Chinese timber truck that had been declared for civilian use, Reuters notes.
  • Reuters reports that China and Russia have put forward a plan that “would see North Korea suspend its ballistic missile program and the United States and South Korea simultaneously call a moratorium on large-scale missile exercises, both moves aimed at paving the way for multilateral talks.”
  • Russia and China called for the U.S. to cease deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. They made a similar statement a year ago, when deployment plans were still being made. The rollout of the system was suspended by the new South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, last month after two of a planned six launchers were set up. Moon has called on the South Korean parliament to consider further action on THAAD before the system is potentially made operational.
  • China chastised Donald Trump as a foreign ministry spokesman called for “relevant parties” to “stay calm and exercise restraint” in answer to a question specifically about Trump’s tweets urging China to “put a heavy move on North Korea.”
  • Trump later 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!”

For more on the strategic options for China, the U.S., and others in the Korean Peninsula, see these pieces in the New York Times and the Washington Post: