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U.S. easing hard line on North Korea to allow China to exercise influence

TV Asahi’s Hodo Station reported that the Trump administration is relaxing its tough approach toward North Korea with the goal of encouraging China to step up its diplomatic efforts to press the defiant DPRK regime to put an end to its missile and nuclear provocations. The broadcaster highlighted the “slow” movement of the USS Carl Vinson strike group, which appears to be in waters near Indonesia even though it could have entered the East China Sea by now.The network also said the U.S. may delay or cancel the planned deployment of a THAAD platform in South Korea that China vehemently opposes, quoting an unnamed senior White House official as saying: “This is something that should be decided by the new ROK president. The deployment is up in the air.” The show conjectured that these two developments point to Washington’s policy of prodding China to use its influence to convince Kim Jong Un to discontinue provocations. An analyst predicted that the Trump administration may step up its pressure on Beijing to take such measures as cutting back on petroleum exports to North Korea by possibly imposing financial sanctions on some 800 Chinese companies that benefit from trade with Pyongyang.  

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