U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip an April 5-6 meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers for a U.S. visit by the Chinese president and will travel to Russian Federation later in the month, U.S. officials said on Monday, a step allies may see as putting Moscow's concerns ahead of theirs.
Tillerson said on Friday at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul that all options were on the table to resolve the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue, including diplomatic, security and economic measures, Xinhua reported.
Chinese official also repeatedly say they do not have the influence over North Korea that Washington and others believe, and express fears poverty-struck North Korea could collapse if it were cut off completely, pushing destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China.
Tillerson's remarks reflected growing agitation in Washington that a tougher stance on North Korea is required. South Korea is conducting joint military exercises with U.S. forces, and installation of the THAAD system begins this month. North Korea has amassed a huge nuclear stockpile and appears on the brink of being able to strike the United States mainland and United States allies in Asia.
The Secretary of State said the two countries would work together to get North Korea to take "a different course". North Korea has boasted of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and experts on Asia security generally agree that such a capability is within Pyongyang's reach. "The second option is preventive war, and the use of force to disarm North Korea".
"So I think we need to have a good defense". They support direct talks with North Korea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson before their meeting at at the Great Hall of the People on March 19, 2017 in Beijing, China.
The two sides are preparing for a summit meeting between Xi and his U.S. counterpart, President Donald Trump, the first time the two will meet.
China says it is committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but all sides have a responsibility to lessen tensions and get back to the negotiating table. There, the two leaders will have the chance to discuss North Korea and other issues in person. George Grow was the editor.
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