US tries to use better China ties to press North Korea

Cheryl Sanders
June 21, 2017

United States spy satellites have detected new activity at North Korea's underground nuclear test site for the first time in several weeks, two USA officials told CNN. Two U.S. officials tell CNN that North Korea appears to be making some modifications around the tunnel entrances. The officials did not say whether a sixth nuclear test is imminent but did mention that there is a concern for a test during a top Chinese diplomats visit to Washington Wednesday.

A series of meetings in recent weeks in Brussels and Beijing have focused on ways that participants believe the European Union could facilitate negotiations with North Korea, drawing on its members' diplomatic ties with Pyongyang and on its experience in helping to negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the officials said. "At least I know China tried", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the US has held secret talks with North Korea for more than a year, hoping to free USA prisoners and establish a diplomatic channel for efforts to constrain Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. According to CNN, Trump's aides are still trying to figure out what the president meant with his tweet which seemed like a conciliatory message to China.


Asked whether Trump would still consider meeting with Kim Jong Un given the right conditions, Spicer said: "Clearly we're moving further away, not closer, to those conditions being met". However, it has been said that it would be at least a year before evaluating how successful China has been.

In a recent exchange with Sen. "Is that the policy?"

Tillerson and Mattis will host Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Chief of the Joint Staff General Fang Fenghui at the State Department for the first diplomatic and security dialogue.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis will be looking to advance cooperation with China on finding a peaceful resolution to the threat, USA officials said Tuesday.

Most estimates suggest that Kim's unpredictable regime is between three and five years away from achieving its nuclear ambitions.


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