China Warns Trump: "We Will Back North Korea If The US Strikes First"

Tyler Durden's picture

All day Saturday, South Korea braced for a possible new missile test by North Korea as the provocative northern neighbor marked its founding anniversary, just days after its sixth and largest nuclear test rattled global financial markets and further escalated tensions in the region. Throughout the week, South Korean officials warned the North could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile, in defiance of U.N. sanctions and to further provoke the US. As Reuters reports, Pyongyang marks its founding anniversary each year with a big display of pageantry and military hardware. Last year, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on the Sept. 9 anniversary.

Ultimately, September 9 came and went, and North Korea did nothing, perhaps signalling its eagerness to de-escalate. Or perhaps not, and Kim is simply looking to surprise his adversaries with the ICBM launch date. Experts have said the rogue, isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Trump has vowed to prevent.

Celebrating its founding anniversary, a front-page editorial of the Saturday edition of North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun said the country should make “more high-tech Juche weapons to continuously bring about big historical events such as a miraculous victory of July 28.”. The July date refers to the intercontinental ballistic missile test (Juche is North Korea’s homegrown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather).

* * *

Meanwhile, South Korean nuclear experts, checking for contamination, said on Friday they had found minute traces of radioactive xenon gas but that it was too early to link it to Sunday’s explosion. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) said it had been conducting tests on land, air and water samples since shortly after the North Korean nuclear test on Sunday. There was no chance the xenon “will have an impact on South Korea’s territory or population”, the agency said.

What is more concerning, however, is a Friday report on NBC, according to which Trump is readying a package of diplomatic and military moves against North Korea, including cyberattacks and increased surveillance and intelligence operations, after the nation's sixth and largest nuclear test.

Trump's top national security advisers walked him through a range of options over lunch in the White House on Sunday, just hours after North Korea's latest test, officials said.

According to NBC, Trump is also seriously considering adopting diplomatically risky sanctions on Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang and upgrading missile defense systems in the region, administration officials said. In addition, the administration is not ruling out moving tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea should Seoul request them, a White House official said, though many consider such a move a nonstarter. It would break with nearly three decades of U.S. policy of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. officials have also made the case to China that if Beijing doesn't take stronger steps against North Korea, such as cutting off oil exports, South Korea and Japan are likely to pursue their own nuclear weapons programs and the U.S. won't stop them, the official said. "It's more a message for China than North Korea," the official said.

The U.S. has adopted sanctions aimed at Chinese entities that conduct business with North Korea, but has so far held back on broadly targeting China's banking system. China has told U.S. officials it would protest such a move diplomatically and retaliate, according to the senior administration official.

So what happened on Sunday? According to NBC, Trump's national security advisers presented him with U.S. military options, including pre-emptive strikes, and nuclear capabilities should America be called on to abide by its treaty obligations in the region, White House and defense officials said.

The president's advisers have made the case, however, that military strikes on North Korea could have serious repercussions, senior defense officials said, and the most glaring among these is that China has told administration officials that if the U.S. strikes North Korea first, Beijing would back Pyongyang, a senior military official told NBC.


This is not the first time China has warned the US not to escalate: on August 11, Beijing, through the state-owned media, cautioned the US president on Friday that it would intervene (militarily) on North Korea’s behalf if the US and South Korea launch a preemptive strike to “overthrow the North Korean regime,” according to a statement in the influential state-run newspaper Global Times.

"If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so," it said.

At the same time, the Chinese regime made it clear that its preferred outcome would be a continuation of the status quo, warning Kim Jong Un, or perhaps Trump, that it would "remain neutral if North Korea were to strike first."

As we said almost one month ago:

"not surprisingly, analysts have compared the standoff between the two nuclear powers (the North is a recent, if untested, member of this club) to a modern day Cuban Missile crisis.  "This situation is beginning to develop into this generation's Cuban Missile crisis moment," ING's chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note. "While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution."

Since then, the potential risks, mutual threats and near-hostilities have grown exponentially. China - which is by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 92% of two-way trade last year, and also provides hundreds of thousands of tonnes of oil and fuel to the impoverished regime - has only dug in deeper, explaining repeatedly that it wants a peaceful de-escalation and that it would not side with the US in case of a military conflict.

* * *

What happens next? Well, on one hand, after today's lack of launch, there is hope that things will indeed de-escalate. A headline that just hit from Yonhap may accelerate this:


On the other hand, what the US does next may be a sufficient provocation to force Kim to lob another ICBM. Earlier today, Reuters reported that the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier left its home port in Japan for a routine autumn patrol of the Western Pacific, a Navy spokeswoman said. That area included "waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula." North Korea vehemently objects to military exercises on or near the peninsula, and China and Russia have suggested the United States and South Korea halt their exercises to lower tension.

Another imminent escalation is due on Monday.

That's when the United States told the U.N. Security Council that it intends to call a meeting to vote on a draft resolution establishing additional sanctions.  U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said last Monday that she intended to call for a vote on Sept. 11 and then the United States circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council on Wednesday.

The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers abroad, and to subject Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how North Korean allies China and Russia would vote, but a senior U.S. official on Friday night expressed scepticism that either nation would accept anything more stringent than a ban on imports of North Korean textiles. Chinese officials have privately expressed fears that imposing an oil embargo could risk triggering massive instability in its neighbor. 

Meanwhile, tensions are also growing between China and South Korea. The two countries have been at loggerheads over South Korea’s decision to deploy the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system, which has a powerful radar that can probe deep into China. Shares in South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor and key suppliers slid on Friday on worries over its position in China after highly critical Chinese state newspaper comments. Recently Hyundai auto sales in China have crashed as local suppliers and potential customers have shied away from the company due to nationalistic prerogatives. The military section of China’s Global Times newspaper on Thursday referred to THAAD as “a malignant tumor”.

The good news, for markets, is that this Saturday's widely anticipated ICBM launch from North Korea did not take place; the bad news is that said launch was at best delayed, and if and when it comes, the US will have to choose: do nothing again, and appears increasingly weak on the global diplomatic arena, or retaliate, and risk dragging China into the conflict, potentially precipitating the appearance of mushroom clouds around the globe.

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JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Neocons getting serious hard-ons.

remain calm's picture

US getting ready to shoot its massive load on the Norks

jcaz's picture

So... NK was just the frontman for China all along?

I'm shocked, SHOCKED......

Déjà view's picture

Mr. Xi..."Tear Down This Wall"!

Fish Gone Bad's picture

China won't do shit.  They go to war and all their little islands become targets.  Not going to happen.

NoDebt's picture

"We Will Back North Korea If The US Strikes First"

Challenge accepted.  That's how low the bar is?  No problem.


Stinkytofu's picture

NO.  everyone is skipping the details, AND the editors have added a word...


"...would intervene (militarily) on North Korea’s behalf if the US and South Korea launch

a preemptive strike to “overthrow the North Korean regime,”


1.  the editors added "militarily," a word NOT included in the chinese.  important distinction.

they have many ways to respond, their version of "all options are on the table"  they could,

for example, call a security council meeting, or send a strongly worded letter to the us embassy.


2.   all seem to ignore the final clarifier in the statement, they will intervene if the preemptive

strike is designed as regime change.  they did NOT say they would intervene in the event

of a limited strike ONLY meant to destroy launchers and assembly lines.  i feel china would

not mind that tooooo much.  if not resolve the problem, would give them a year's breathing


eforce's picture

False flag tomorrow (9/11)?

francis scott falseflag's picture


Nobody buys America's false flags.

MH17 and three or four Assad approved Syrian gas attacks.

Just large loads of bullshit.

A conventional or nuclear false flag will be treated by Russia

/China as the real thing  --  a preemptive strike  --  and will

unleash every thing Russia, China, Iran, North Korea have.


There will be no winners.  Only losers.



Malibu, Bel Air, Fifth Avenue, the Hamptons, Lake Shore Drive, Pacific Heights.

I'm sure all the residents there, are just itching for nuclear bombs to ruin their

vacation plans.




Manthong's picture


…and I wonder why Foxconn is building a billion dollar facility in heartland Wisconsin….

..but all we need to do is devalue the dollar against gold and even though China has a few thousand tons more than they officially report, their economy will collapse and chaos will ensue.  

..and oh… at the same time, the dollar will devalue against BTC… they will be worth bit pennies again.


DWD-MOVIE's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Escrava Isaura's picture

These are all that we know:

DWD-MOVIE above is lying thorough his teeth because nobody else clicks on his stupid link anymore. 

And that a nuclear war in Korea is unavoidable. That the US won’t fire first. And, it needs to be done under this administration.

What we don’t know is this (date):

Is Trump one term President?


king leon's picture

Not long to go now before the big US financial cave in. No need for China or Russia to go to war with the US, they just need to keep administering the financial medicine until the US economy quietly passes away in it's sleep, no fuss, nothing. 

Pendolino's picture

And if the Chinese economy collapses so does the US economy. The difference is the Chinese are used to hardship.

Déjà view's picture

Chicom will NOT do 'Xit' their BLUFF!

Current Chicom prosperity was/is produced by:

b. U.S.A.

ebworthen's picture

And the P.L.A., and selling out the U.S. middle-class and really - the nation - for the sake of the corrupt U.S. Kleptoligarchy (banks/corporations/insurers in collusion with corrupt Politicians).  Fuck China, North Korea, and their allies in the U.S. and the globalist hegemony.

Déjà view's picture

"$elling"...Trump should tell Chicom to sell their $hit to DPRK consumers NOT U.S. consumers...
If U.S. was attacked Chicom could not give a rats @$$ about THE nation who created a much higher Chicom standard of living...

runningman18's picture

China is controlled by the banksters, which is why they ALSO said that if NK struck first they would "remain neutral.  All that's needed now is a false flag. 

Stinkytofu's picture

haha, and their leader is transgender!


xi's a he!

Déjà view's picture

'Xiriously'? Did DPRK or U.S.A. create Chicom material wealth...
Dump Treasuries for DPRK debt...create a wealthy DPRK consumer society...nothing but a liability...Chicom dumb as $hit to imply such backing for despot Kim...LOL...
What is Chicom waiting for?

Never ever be another Japan whom Chicom emulates...

Chicom walking on egg shells...pissing off many, including former ally Vietnam. Lately Indonesia...not to mention India...Philippines and Malaysia...

Coming...Chicom sleepless nights...worry VERY MUCH concerning financial

Déjà view's picture

If 'Xiriously' is not bluffing...GUARANTEED...there will be a class of Bentley/Luxury Chinese who will be mighty unhappy when U.S. fights back in this economic war...

Suggest a trip to China to Déjà view vast numbers living in luxury at American expense!

Stinkytofu's picture

a "trip" to china tells you nothing.

i just spent last 7 years living there.

Stinkytofu's picture

a one-week trip to china (beijing-shanghai-xi'an) would be the

same as a one-week trip to the usa (sanfran-warshington-nyc).


would hit some tourist spots, but would tell you nothing about

the real china, or the real usa.

opport.knocks's picture

c) the "magic" of creating money as debt (surely you are not going to pretend the USA invented that)

dogismycopilot's picture

But there's the rub. If the US wages a 'limited' war on NK, then NK is going to wage 'unlimited' chemical warfare on Seoul.

Has to be all or nothing for the US. Scorched earth motherfucker.

Stinkytofu's picture

not necessarily.


limited strike would be conducted AFTER informing china and russia

about the aims and limitations.  after all, can't be slinging cruise

missiles within a hundred miles of either big boy's borders.


xi would be on the phone with little un when the bombs hit.

would emphasize to him the limits of the strike conducted from

submarine, NOT assets in south korea.....and that any military

response directed at the south would absolve china of ANY

treaty obligatations. 


king leon's picture

NK could over run the South in just a few days, but it won't happen Kim is a CIA Pentagon patsy. The cat was let out of the bag when it was leaked that Ukraine had supplied Kim with ICBMs, no doubt with nukes ready and attached, not to target  the US but to give the US a free shot at nuking China and deep into Russia, notice how Russia quickly deployed an anti missile shield on it's border with NK. I am sure that if Russia is subject to a first strike by the US proxy then there will be no need to guess where the Russian retaliatory strike will be headed. 

opport.knocks's picture

I am inclined to believe that during the last visit by special envoy Dennis Rodman, Kim was made an offer he couldn't refuse.

caconhma's picture

Looking forward for the USA to start a war with N. Korea. 

Trump is too stupid. The sooner he and his zio-mafia puppeters fall the better.

The Alarmist's picture

We didn't whip the Chinese and Norks back in the 50s, when we were the only undisputed military AND industrial powerhouse on the planet. Given the stunning successes in Afghanistan and Iraq, what makes you think striking North Korea will be a cakewalk?

ET's picture

Trump could say this.

We will not attack North Korea. If, however, North Korea attacks the US first with nuclear weapons, we will retaliate against North Korea and China with nuclear weapons.

This will incentivize China to keep North Korea from misbehaving.

Any claims of Chinese neutrality if North Korea attacks the US are not to be believed.

earleflorida's picture

Indeed a 'word-for-word',... extraction fom 'thy' script, the ussa uses with zionist israel!

Hmmm,... [as] SofD James Forrestal predicted this blowback`BS, before the Zionist killed him with LBJ's handywork on May 22, 1949!

Always note the dates of 'EVENTS'?

secretargentman's picture

Obviously China has never heard of the False Flag Attack. 

francis scott falseflag's picture

Are you kidding?

Any false flag attack  --  even by Betsy Ross  -- is the kick off of


     M U T U A L   A S S U R E D   D E S T R U C T I O N


The last thing you'll remember is the smell of your burning pubic hairs.

auricle's picture

The US would win any conventional war, China and Russia knows this. I would think China and Russia will run hypersonic tactical nukes as a deterrent. They know the US can't stop this threat.  

overbet's picture

"Experts have said the rogue, isolated regime"


What kind of experts can they be if they dont think China is involved?

caconhma's picture

Please remind me when America won the last war. Please don't count Iraq and Libya.

GreatCaesar'sGhost's picture

Unless you actually believe the US went into Iraq, and paid for the defeat of Khaddaffi, to create Euro style democracies in the ME, both of those go in the books as US victories. The point of both of those police actions, as well as the Afghan, was to destroy the sitting governments and create chaos. Both Saddam and Khaddaffi were giving money to the families of anyone who committed a terror attack in Israel, they ain't doing that anymore are they? And the Afghan has given the US the opportunity for live fire training their military. I'm not saying I agree with these actions, I'm saying they are very obviously victories.

Matteo S.'s picture

It is very far from certain that the US would win a conventional war. Today's weapon technology massively favors defense over attack.

And the first thing is that the US Navy would have to hide itself in home harbors if it does not want to be sunk by massive attacks of land-sea or air-sea missiles.

You know the cost of a cruise missile and the costs of an aircraft carrier or a destroyer ?

Blue Steel 309's picture

Veteran between 1993 and 2010. Our military couldn't fight its way out of a wet paper bag, if the bag had both hands tied behind it. it has been gutted by every oligarch puppet since Kennedy died.

Joiningupthedots's picture

Win a conventional war with....WHAT?

America will lose aircraft at an unreplaceable rate

All SK airheads will be rendered unuseable

A carrier group (or two) may dissapear too.

WHAT is so conventional about that?

Escalate any further and you will see what a real nuclear peer adversay can actually do, I would suggest.


Mr 9x19's picture

reel soldiers have a single 7.62x39, and a solid pair of balls,not go pro cam on the helmet to show the fake défilé on iptv for obozo...


Bollockinell's picture

"The US would win any conventional war"

Yeah, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and a host of others being perfect examples. The US loves war but has yet to grasp she isn't very good at it. What she is good at is making the rest of the planet hate her and wish for her demise. Totally unfair to the majority of her population who would rather her leaders just shrivel-up and die.

GreatCaesar'sGhost's picture

The US was beating the Vietnamese like a redheaded stepchild until they decided, because of domestic political reasons that had little to do with the actual fighting, to withdraw. Two years before the North was finally able to overthrow the South. Who sits on the throne in the Afghan? Not a Taliban, a US puppet. Is one of Saddam's sons in charge of Iraq? Is Khaddaffi smoking hsah with his harem? What are you talking about?

The Alarmist's picture

So, if destabilizing regions is the objective, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

OverTheHedge's picture

The Taliban are making a comeback (never actually went away), Vietnam was exactly the kind of conflict that the US failed to understand, and believed it was winning, even when it clearly wasn't, and the US has ALREADY lost once in North Korea, despite total air superiority, and genocidal bombing campaign that killed 20% of the population. Can you guarantee total air superiority this time?

Oh, and North Korea has more submarines than the US has. I don't say that they are very good, but there are lots and lots of them. Only need one to sneak up on a carrier. Then what?