Japan agrees with USA that North Korea's weapons "not permissible"

Meanwhile, in what seemed a response to Tillerson's remarks, the Minister of the North Korean Embassy in China, Pak Myong-ho said: "The joint military exercises by the hospital forces are aimed at preemptive strikes against the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea - North Korea's official name]". Experts say it could have a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States within a few years. "If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action that option is on the table". In the afternoon, the top US diplomat will briefly meet with Prime Minister and Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and then sit down for an hour-long discussion with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

Mr. Tillerson said in Tokyo on Thursday that diplomatic and other efforts of the past 20 years to realise the denuclearisation of the peninsula have failed, stressing the need for a new approach to the issue.

A Trump administration official said Tillerson's position on THAAD would be uncompromising, but suggested there might be room for concessions elsewhere to win more Chinese cooperation on North Korea.

Echoing arguments by analysts - who point to the failure of sanctions and military build-up to prevent North Korea's nuclear testing - Baek said she and other civil society activists feel "the only solution is direct negotiation".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will tell his counterparts in China that the USA is prepared to increase financial penalties against Chinese companies and banks that do business with North Korea, according to senior U.S. officials.

Since then, North Korea has violated multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and has been undeterred by tough global sanctions.

- The U.S. and South Korea are now holding their biggest-ever annual joint military exercises, which are seen by the North as a dress rehearsal for invasion.

She had been a long-time supporter of USA foreign policy in the region, particularly when it came to isolating North Korea.

The U.S. and China also disagree over U.S. deployment of a missile defense system to South Korea.

As a result, they said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, Tillerson is trying to keep a low profile, which is his natural instinct, and seeking a way to make his case on foreign policy without being drawn into losing battles. -South Korean military drills in exchange for a nuclear freeze by North Korea.

The U.S. retains almost 30,000 troops in South Korea, and almost 50,000 in neighboring Japan.

"We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognise the controversy surrounding press access for the trip", Alex Skatell, IJR's founder and chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Since then though, the DMZ has become a major tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors every day.

Xiao also denied claims that Beijing has been carrying out systematic economic retaliation against South Korean businesses as a result of its opposition to the THAAD missile defense system that the US and South Korea believe is necessary to protect against North Korean missiles.

He dismissed concerns over a delay in THAAD's deployment, pointing out the system would not protect much of the country, including the almost 26 million people living in the Seoul metro area.

  • Leroy Wright