Mattis vents US frustration over North Korea

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Otto Warmbier’s death after returning from North Korean imprisonment is stoking outrage in Washington and thr
Ramping up pressure on N. Korea top priority in high-level US-China talks: senior official
Author

24 June, 2017

China said on Wednesday that all the countries involved in the North Korean crisis should shoulder the responsibility of finding a solution and efforts on Beijing's part alone would not resolve the issue. Will Hurd said Wednesday, in response to a tweet by President Donald Trump saying that "China tried" to help. She said the USA would be consulting with China on implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that are meant to restrict revenue and technology for the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Emphasizing how both countries stand to gain from closer trade links, Beijing is pointing to its recently lifted restrictions on imports of American beef, after 14 years, and how the growing appetites of Chinese consumers can benefit the U.S.

President Donald Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with North Korea's totalitarian government.

USA and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs are meeting later Wednesday in Washington for security talks.

Susan Thornton, the senior US diplomat for East Asia, said North Korea would get "top billing".

The 22-year old OH native was arrested last year and was released last week in a coma, after what has been described as "appalling" treatment by DPRK authorities. "We now are maintaining constant communication with all sides and encouraging them to return to talks as soon as possible and work hard to advance consultations to promptly solve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula", Geng Shuang, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"But we would like to see China do more, and we're going to be talking to them about that this week", Ms. Thornton said, adding that the U.S.is working with China to try to crack down on North Korean entities that go through China to do business.

The discussions replace a strategic and economic dialogue held annually under the Obama administration.

Trump, who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail, has turned to Beijing to help pressure its ally North Korea, prompting concern among Asian partners that America might go easy on Beijing over its expansive claims in the disputed South China Sea. "The military dimension today is in support of the diplomatic and economic effort led by the State Department and at the same time we have an effective posture in the region to deter KJU (Kim) and also to respond in the event that deterrence fails".

Like past presidents, Trump is finding the US has limited scope for punishing North Korea, particularly over the arrest of USA citizens.

Thornton said China has done a lot to increase pressure on the North, but should do more.

Last month, Beijing and Washington signed a limited deal to open new markets for each other's exports and a long-standing friend of the Chinese leadership, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, was confirmed as ambassador. Such a move risks fraying relations between the world's two biggest economies.

"If the U.S. finds that any of the Chinese companies have violated the United Nations resolution, it should point out the wrongdoings so that China can take the necessary measures to punish these companies", Lu said, adding that a gap in perceptions over the objectives of economic sanctions could lead to disappointment for the US.


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