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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tillerson: China, US Aim at Making Pyongyang Pursue 'a Different Course'

Sputnik News

15:48 18.03.2017(updated 15:54 18.03.2017)

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US State Secretary Rex Tillerson discussed security challenges in north-eastern Asia and the Asia-Pacific region stressing the need for further mitigation of tensions on Korean peninsula.

BEIJING (Sputnik) – On Saturday, Tillerson arrived in Beijing with an official visit to meet with China's top officials.

"Foreign Minister Wang and I had a very sensitive exchange on North Korea. Foreign Minister Wang affirmed again China's long-standing policy to denuclearize Korean peninsula. We also exchanged views and I think we share a common view in a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level and we have committed ourselves to do everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out," Tillerson said at a press conference after the meeting.

The US state secretary added that China and the United States would try to call upon North Korea to change its course.

"We will work together to see if we can bring the government in Pyongyang to a place, where they want to make a different course, make a course correction and move away from their development of the nuclear weapons. But it is with the certain sense of urgency that we both feel, because of the current situation that we have on the peninsula, so I appreciated Foreign Minister's Wang sincere expressions of how China sees the situation. We had a very good exchange on that and we will continue to be talking with one another on what we can both do along working with others to bring North Korea to a different place, where we are hopeful we can begin again a dialogue," Tillerson stressed.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005. The United States, Japan and South Korea, as well as Russia and China, took part in talks with Pyongyang between 2003 and 2009 on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, but North Korea withdrew from the talks.

Since the beginning of 2016, North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, with the latest being the launch of four missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan, conducted on March 6, 2017, leading to escalation of tensions on the peninsula.

On Friday, following the statement of the US ambassador to United Nations that the United States did not want to get back to six-party talks, Tillerson warned that all options were on the table in dealing with Pyongyang, including military intervention.


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