China warns bilateral ties at risk after USA sanctions over North Korea

North Korea Takes Propaganda to New Level

As part of a broad effort to isolate North Korea, the Treasury Department on Tuesday placed sanctions on Chinese and Russian individuals and firms it said had conducted business with the country in ways that advanced its missile and nuclear weapons program.

China calls on the United States to halt the "wrongful" practice of imposing unilateral restrictive measures against Chinese entities for their alleged ties with North Korea, as such moves hamper bilateral cooperation, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

China has urged the U.S.to withdraw sanctions it imposed on Chinese companies that Washington says are supporting North Korea as it carries out increasingly ambitious missile tests.

The sanctions are aimed particularly large importers of coal, the chinese company Zhicheng, on which is based the north Korean leader to develop its programmes to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The U.S. Justice Department has filed lawsuits seeking $11 million from companies based in China and Singapore that are accused of conspiring to help North Korea evade sanctions.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, threatened the isolated regime with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that the USA is open to dialogue with North Korea, a day after the regime in Pyongyang once again issued bristling threats against Washington.

Fu retorted: "I just want to say that we're not creating equivalency between anything".

The latest round of increased tensions surrounding North Korea followed Pyongyang's two test launches last month of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which precipitated the U.N. Security Council's decision to impose new and tighter sanctions. The Pentagon is proceeding this week with major joint war games in South Korea involving tens of thousands of US and South Korean military personnel.

US military commanders have dismissed the calls for Washington and Seoul to pause or downsize their joint military exercises to tamp down the tension created by North Korean threats to lob missiles toward Guam, saying that the drills are critical for maintaining military readiness against Pyongyang. "And perhaps we are seeing a pathway in the near future to having some dialogue".

Mattis told reporters Sunday North Korea knows the drills are a defense exercise, and not a rehearsal for an invasion, as claimed by Pyongyang's propaganda. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also noted the U.S.is "taking actions consistent with United Nations sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea, and to deter this activity in the future". "Its recent ICBM tests are another example of the unsafe reckless behavior of the North that is destabilizing the region and beyond".

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