United States president Donald Trump told the United Nations in a prepared speech on 19 September that he was ready to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US were forced to defend itself or its allies against a nuclear threat.
China’s response to Trump’s rhetoric is crucial. Beijing is one of Pyongyang’s few allies, no matter how ambivalent. China has imposed a partial ban on selling crude oil and oil products to North Korea, having earlier banned imports of iron and coal.
This will put fresh pressure...
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