Trump says N.K. missile launch ‘great disrespect’ for China

WASHINGTON-- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday denounced North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch as "great disrespect" for China, praising Beijing for working hard to rein in the recalcitrant neighbor.

The North fired a short-range Scud-type missile off its east coast earlier in the day in its ninth missile test this year and the third in about a week. The missile flew about 450 kilometers before crashing into the East Sea.

"North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile ... but China is trying hard!" Trump said in a Twitter post.

Since his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, Trump has repeatedly praised China for trying to increase pressure on North Korea while refraining from labeling Beijing a currency manipulator for fear it could hamper efforts to enlist Chinese help in reining in the North.

China is North Korea's last-remaining major ally and a key provider of food and fuel supplies. But it has been reluctant to use its influence over Pyongyang for fears that pushing the regime too hard could result in instability in the North and hurt Chinese national interests.

Analysts doubt how far China can go in pressuring Pyongyang, saying China has often increased pressure on the North in the past, especially when Pyongyang carried out nuclear and missile tests and other provocative acts, but it never went as far as to cause real pain.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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