April 11, 2013 09:59
In a front-page column on Wednesday, the Chinese Communist Party's official People's Daily warned North Korea not to "miscalculate the situation."
It was the most explicit warning yet from North Korea's sole ally not to overplay its hand. North Korea is apparently getting ready to launch one or more medium-range missiles from its eastern coast.
The People's Daily carried a column by international affairs expert Hua Yiwen on the front page saying that even if North Korea has 100 reasons to build up defenses, it has no reason whatsoever to conduct a nuclear test or launch a ballistic missile in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
He added the North cannot shift responsibility for mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula since last year onto others.
The Global Times, an English-language sister newspaper of the People's Daily, sang to the same tune in an editorial titled "North Korea cannot justify its overreaction."
"The favorable opinion of the Chinese public toward Pyongyang is fading. This does no good to the North's long-term interests," it wrote.
Meanwhile the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Samuel Locklear, insisted the U.S. is "capable of intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles."
Locklear said that Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, as well as his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, made sure they had "off ramps" that gave them an exit out of a confrontation, particularly if the U.S. and its allies were willing to offer concessions. "Kim Jong-un appears not to have given himself channels that would help him ratchet down the tensions," he added.
He called Kim Jong-un an "impetuous young leader" who "continues to focus on provocation rather than on his own people."
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