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N. Korean newspaper comments on intensifying US-China conflict

North Korea's main newspaper on Monday carried a commentary that shed light on the escalating trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, denuclearization of the North and other issues.

Titled "Worsening China-US relationship," the commentary by the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party, introduced the content of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 of the US and China's angry reaction to the act.

"What is notable is that the NDAA specifies regulations of China's investment activities in the US As expected, the US's 2019 NDAA has triggered a backlash from China," said the newspaper.


According to wire reports, the US act contains a deterrence of Chinese investment in the US and other hard-line stances on China. It bans the US government from using technologies of Chinese firms, such as ZTE and Huawei, and from doing business with entities that use the Chinese technologies.

The commentary came after US President Donald Trump recently cancelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea and blamed China for the lack of progress in the denuclearization of the North.

As Trump signed the NDAA on Aug. 13, Beijing raised a strong objection, with its foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang urging the US to give up Cold War thinking and zero-sum games.

Introducing Lu's comment, the Rodong Sinmun said, "Foreign news reports say the American argument about a 'Chinese threat' was exaggerated. They also say the US was trying to benefit from such an argument."

"It seems that the latest development will further worsen the China-US relations already strained over their competitive exchanges of tariffs," it said.

The newspaper's commentary didn't elaborate on North Korea's position on the escalating conflict between the US and China but implied that Pyongyang was closely monitoring the two countries' relations that may influence the North-US relation and denuclearization negotiations, watchers here say.

On the same day, Pyongyang's external propaganda website Uriminzokkiri denounced an amendment of the NDAA, which calls for maintaining the number of US troops in South Korea at a minimum of 22,000.

"The US troops' forcible occupation of South Korea cannot be justified by any reason. The US has again displayed its unchanged ambition against the DPRK," the website said, accusing Washington of violating a summit agreement reached in Singapore in June. DPRK is the acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name. (Yonhap)

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