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China, US agree on more cooperation during security talks

Importantly, neither official placed any military option on any table regarding North Korea, although Tillerson noted that “China understands that this is the United States’ top security concern”.President Donald Trump told China’s state councillor Yang Jiechi in a meeting that the USA is willing to cooperate with Beijing on projects related to its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry. A peace treaty ending the Korean War and legitimizing the North Korean state is a long- standing goal for Pyongyang, which sees it as a catalyst for the removal of all US forces from the peninsula. Citing the fates of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, the North Koreans repeatedly said that their nuclear program is the ultimate life preserver for the regime. The recent North Korean missile test, as well as the nuclear threats to the USA, will be one of the higher levels of discussions in the dialogue.Yang told Trump in a White House meeting on Thursday that China highly appreciated USA attendance at the gathering and would be willing to work with the United States on the initiative, the ministry said in the statement.Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as American concern grows over the North’s acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the US mainland.Mattis stressed that diplomacy, coupled with economic sanctions, must take precedence in attempts to restrain North Korea. “At least I know China tried!”Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, appeared in a joint press conference in Washington, on June 21, after meeting with Chinese officials for a defense and diplomatic dialogue.Chinese state media described the talks, the first of their kind with the Trump administration, as an upgrade in dialogue mechanisms between China and the United States, following on from President Xi Jiping’s meeting with Trump in Florida in April.At the State Department, Tillerson and Mattis said the efforts are continuing despite Warmbier’s death, but Tillerson said, “We need to address directly, very frankly, areas where we face threats”.Diplomatic tensions have increased after the recent death of American student Otto Warmbier. “China understands that the US regards North Korea as our top security threat”. If the USA wants China to change its approach, the two need to understand one another better and what can be achieved.It also drew South Korea into the row for seeking to use Warmbier’s case to seek the release of other detainees, including six South Korean citizens. “For instance, if the American side completely stopped big, large-scale military exercises, temporarily or permanently, then we will also temporarily stop”, Kye said in the video of the interview, which WION posted to YouTube.