Tillerson, Xi pledge closer cooperation, at least in public

Adjust Comment Print

The state-run Chinese tabloid the Global Times said yesterday that it was in China's interests to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions but to suggest China cut the country off completely was ridiculous as it would be fraught with danger.

North Korea has conducted a ground test of a new high-thrust rocket engine to be used for the country's space and satellite-launching program.

That was swiftly shot down by the USA ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who said Washington has to see "some sort of positive action" from North Korea before it can take leader Kim Jong Un seriously.

It test-fired four missiles into seas off Japan last week as the US and South Korea began annual military drills that the North claims are rehearsals for invasion.

Local media indicated on Sunday that that the Kim said that the nation is close to the test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

As North Korea's most important source of diplomatic support and economic assistance, China has grown increasingly concerned about the possibility of conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

China has been North Korea's biggest backer, but relations between the two countries have been strained as the North continues to pursue the development of nuclear weapons.

Earlier, he visited South Korea, where he said, in particular, that the United States' strategic patience with North Korea has ended, and warned that "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang, including a military intervention.

Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, has urged the United States to remain "cool-headed" over North Korea's missile tests and tensions in Asia.

Although neither side brought up the subject publicly, Tillerson was expected to raise the prospect of financial penalties on Chinese companies and banks that do business with North Korea.

While agreeing with Tillerson about the North Korean nuclear threat, Minister Wang said the only way to persuade Pyongyang to disarm is through dialogue, such as a renewal of the long-stalled six-party talks between the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russian Federation.

Hong Kong police arrest more 2014 democracy protest leaders
The three candidates, Lam, Tsang and retired Judge Woo Kwok-hing, met and shook hands with electors as they arrived. Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, warned this week the city couldn't afford another five years of strife.

Tillerson said that a so-called "strategic patience" policy toward the DPRK has ended, referring to the US foreign policy in the past decade under which Washington had refrained from having talks with Pyongyang before its honest efforts at denuclearization.

"It is a departure", Wolfsthal said, because both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush had talked to North Korea until Pyongyang either pulled out of talks (with Obama) or cheated on its treaty obligations (with Bush).

They agreed that Sino-US relations should be guided by "non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation".

China is North Korea's main ally. "We are for the settlement of this issue through dialogue and negotiations and the maintenance of peace and stability on the peninsula and the overall region".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday said North Korea's nuclear threats had reached "a risky level" and called on China to make urgent efforts to help rein in the reclusive state, while Beijing insisted the crisis should be settled by diplomatic means.

Tillerson said Friday that Washington did "not believe that conditions are right to engage in any talks at this time".

He also stoked ire in Beijing with tweets over Taiwan, North Korea and China's escalating actions in the South China Sea.

It would be the first meeting between the two men, in what many argue is the most important bilateral relationship in the world.

Though his visit is overshadowed by the North Korean crisis, Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Wang discussed a broad agenda and arrangements for the first summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi due to be held in Florida next month.

Tillerson has forwarded Trump's greetings to President Xi, saying that Trump attaches great importance to the communication and contact with President Xi.