The North Korean President Kim Jong-un has been in meeting with China and Russia over Trump’s threat
China has traditionally been North Korea’s closest ally, but has condemned the latest missile test as “unacceptable”.
In a joint statement, President Xi Jinping vowed to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin on diplomatic approach to the Korean problem.
North Korea has historically enjoyed strong links with China, its neighbour to the north and the west. But since Kim took power in 2011, the relationship has cooled.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is said to have a low opinion of Kim and his nuclear weapons programme. Beijing has repeatedly asked Pyongyang to cease its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches in vain.
In February North Korean state media accused Beijing of “dancing to the tune of the US” and “styling itself as a big power” after China suspended all coal imports from North Korea for the rest of the year.
“Its recent measures are, in effect, tantamount to the enemies’ moves to bring down the social system,” the report said.
Beijing said that the ban was designed to enforce UN sanctions aimed at ending Kim’s nuclear weapons programme, but China has stopped short of blocking food and energy supplies to North Korea.
Russia and North Korea share a slim border that acts as a route for supplies, such as fuel.
Like China, Russia is a benefactor of North Korea.
In 2012, Russia agreed to write off the bulk of North Korea’s $11 billion Soviet-era debt. And In 2015, North Korea and Russia declared a year of friendship, deepening their political and economic connections
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea would be counter-productive, and threats of military intervention would be a “global catastrophe”.
Speaking after a summit in Xiamen, China, Putin said: “Russia condemns North Korea’s exercises; we consider that they are provocation .. (But) ramping up military hysteria will lead to nothing good. It could lead to a global catastrophe.
“There’s no other path apart from a peaceful one.”