Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China says dialogue vital to tackle Korean peninsula crisis

China says dialogue vital to tackle Korean peninsula crisis

Tillerson said halting missile test launches, which have anxious neighbours South Korea and Japan, was a first step toward dialogue. Instead, the US was represented at the dinner by Thornton, whose official title is acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Before Tillerson's trip, the USA had said he had no plans to interact with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

But it was not immediately clear if Ri planned to meet ministers of other countries in Manila.

China is providing a welcome boost to the global campaign to pressure North Korea to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

China and Russian Federation had resisted the United States push, arguing that dialogue with North Korea was the way to persuade it to halt its military programmes. Experts on the crisis repeated a call made by the Trump administration in recent months: China, North Korea's top trading partner and protector, must step in.

But Washington says it will be watching closely to ensure that China doesn't ease up on the North - if and when the world's attention is diverted elsewhere.

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But it wasn't known until now that the contacts have continued, or that they have broached matters other than US detainees. Japan's ability to destroy North Korean missiles in its airspace as they are ascending has been called into question.

South Korea's top diplomat said Tuesday that she could see North Korea's diplomatic isolation deepen in the wake of its repeated missile provocations as she attended multiple meetings hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Susan Thornton is the top US diplomat for Asia.

Wang said there was now a "high level of sensitivity and complexity" that had hurt China's relations with North Korea.

Thornton says the USA wants to ensure that with the new sanctions, there's "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen". China, its biggest trade partner and the closet ally, and Russian Federation joined the United States and other countries in adopting the latest UNSC resolution.

At other times President Trump seemed to think that China could be easily induced to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions. She says the US rejects any "moral equivalency" implied by that proposal.

In a phone call requested by Seoul, Trump and newly installed South Korean President Moon Jae-in committed jointly to "fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the global community to do so as well", the White House said. China's foreign minister said that he had advised his North Korean counterpart not to "provoke the worldwide society's good will by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests".

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Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm. The new measures, which expand the existing sanctions, were a response to five nuclear tests and four long-range missile launches. But he also said it was not as simple as North Korea stopping launches for a few days or weeks.

North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

The urgency of the situation was underlined by US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser HR McMaster, who told MSNBC news that the US leader was reviewing plans for a "preventive war".

After weeks of USA frustration over China's reluctance to take action, Trump's strategy of relying on Beijing's help showed early signs of paying off.

Tillerson's reluctance to sit down with his North Korean counterpart is despite his growing push for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table with the U.S. Tillerson said this week that such talks would have to be predicated on the North giving up its nuclear weapons aspirations and that the conditions for such talks haven't yet been met by North Korea's government.

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