Tillerson to discuss North Korea in China

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/27 23:08:40

Visit to prepare for Trump’s Beijing trip


Anti-war activists hold a banner showing a caricature of US President Donald Trump during an anti-Trump rally near the US embassy in Seoul on Wednesday. The Korean script on the banner reads, "If war breaks out, only those on the Korean Peninsula will die," and "Will totally destroy North Korea." Photo: AFP

North Korea and US President Donald Trump's trip to China will top US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's agenda in his scheduled visit to Beijing this week.

The recent war of words between US and North Korean leaders has increased the unpredictability of the situation, analysts said, but the US must continue its dialogue with China about non-military solutions as it has no better option.

Tillerson will visit China on September 30 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The two sides will exchange views on bilateral ties, Trump's visit to China this year and major international and regional issues, Lu said.

US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that Tillerson "will discuss a range of issues including … the Korean Peninsula and trade and investment," according to the official website.

"The Korean Peninsula is a key topic of Trump's visit to China this year. Given that the current situation is getting more intense and unpredictable, communication on the peninsula issue is an essential part of preparation for Trump's visit," said An Gang, a US studies expert and a member of the academic committee at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank.

"In the past, China and the US focused on the solution to the problem. Now due to the new situation, it is time to talk more openly about a contingency plan for any unpredictable escalation of the crisis."

A military solution is not yet the US' first option, Diao Daming, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"The US is still using sanctions as the main measure because its domestic economic and political situation will not allow the Trump administration to launch a new war at this moment," he said.

New sanctions

The US Treasury Department on Tuesday designated eight North Korean banks and 26 individuals linked to North Korean financial networks for sanctions, according to the official website of the department.

"China opposes unilateral sanctions outside the UN framework and 'long-arm jurisdiction' from the US. To keep cooperating with China on this issue, the US will take China's position into consideration," An said.

China has consistently contested the unilateral imposition of sanctions on third-party companies that the US believes to have ties with Pyongyang.

The EU has also agreed on new sanctions against North Korea, according to Reuters. EU ambassadors reached initial agreement on imposing more economic sanctions on North Korea on Thursday including a largely symbolic oil embargo and a ban on investments.

Don't be childish

On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard," Pyongyang's official media the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Previously Trump called Pyongyang a "band of criminals" and Kim "Rocket Man" on "a suicide mission," in his UN speech.

On Friday Trump tweeted Kim is "obviously a madman."

China and Russia urged Trump and Kim to stop the war of words and adopt more rational methods to solve the crisis.

"We hope that politicians from both the US and North Korea realize that war is not an option to solve the peninsula problem or address their concerns," foreign ministry spokesman Lu said at the daily briefing on Tuesday.

However, the word war hasn't stopped. On Monday, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho accused Trump of declaring war on Pyongyang by tweeting over the weekend that North Korea "won't be around much longer."

He also said North Korea has the right to shoot down US bombers any time, CNN reported.


Newspaper headline: Tillerson to discuss NK in China


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