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Korean Peninsula Tensions Main Topic For Obama’s Talk With Xi in China

by Karen Lydelle Linaja / Aug 30, 2016 06:45 AM EDT
Korean Peninsula Tensions Main Topic For Obama’s Talk With Xi in China

The Korean peninsula tensions will be the main topic for the U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming talk and meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in China later this week.

Obama is scheduled to attend a summit with Xi and 20 other nations. The trip comes after the North Korea brought up tensions due to their successful submarine-launched ballistic missile test demonstrating the rapid progress in SLBM development.

The summit talk of Obama and Xi is set on Sept. 3 which also concerns the maritime disputes in South China Sea and the plan of US to deploy THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.

 "We'll be able to review the progress we've made on the global economy, on climate change, our shared efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons through the Iran deal, our shared concerns about the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Of course, we'll also be addressing differences, as we always do with China, whether it relates to cyber issues, some of the economic practices that we have raised concerns about, some of the tensions around maritime issues in the South China Sea, and of course, our long-standing differences on human rights, as well," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, at a White House briefing.

According to Rhodes, the THAAD issue is not on the agenda but the Chine president Xi is expected to raise the issue.

China has strongly protested in the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea which is an agreement between Washington and Seoul. The issue has raised concern that China might be refusing to conduct a full-scale cooperation to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

"Our point to China has been: this in no way is directed at China. It's directed at the threat from North Korea. And so long as North Korea is developing ballistic missile capabilities and moving forward with its nuclear program, we have an obligation, a responsibility, for our own security and the security of our allies in Japan and the Republic of Korea to take steps to counter that threat," Rhodes said of THAAD.

Furthermore, Rhodes added that the most important thing to continue is to apply pressure on the North Koreans and noting that China don't need to worry about THAAD.

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