Vastavam web: Top diplomats and defense chiefs from the United States and China began a day of talks in Washington on Wednesday looking for ways to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.The talks come a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said Chinese efforts to persuade North Korea to rein in its weapons programs had failed, ratcheting up the rhetoric after the death of an American student who had been detained by Pyongyang.The State Department says Wednesday’s talks would focus on ways to increase pressure on North Korea, but also cover such areas as counter-terrorism and territorial rivalries in the South China Sea.
The U.S. side is expected to press China to cooperate on a further toughening of international sanctions on North Korea. The United States and its allies would like to see an oil embargo and bans on the North Korean airline and guest workers among other moves, steps diplomats say have been resisted by China and Russia.It was unclear whether his remark represented a significant shift in his thinking in the U.S. effort to stop North Korea’s nuclear program and its test-launching of missiles or a hardening in U.S. policy toward China.
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing had made “unremitting efforts” to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula, not as a result of external pressure but because China was a responsible member of the international community and resolving nuclear issue was in its own interests.A South Korean Defense Ministry official said North Korea remained prepared to conduct a sixth nuclear test at any time but there were “no new unusual indications that can be shared.”North Korea last tested a nuclear bomb in September, but it has conducted repeated missile tests since and vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, putting it at the forefront of Trump’s security worries.
On Tuesday the president called what happened to Warmbier “a disgrace.”China’s state-run Global Times newspaper said Chinese officials must be wary that Warmbier’s death might push Washington to put greater pressure on Beijing, but China would not act as a “U.S. ally” on the issue.Trump’s tweet about China took some advisers by surprise. A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States had limited options to rein in North Korea without Chinese assistance.