US Should Not Brace for China on NKorea — George Mitchell

"We also affirmed our strong commitment to cooperate, including through the U.N.to realize our shared goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Mattis said.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi co-chairs the dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on Wednesday cautioned the Trump administration to not put all of its hope in China when it comes to dealing with North Korea. "The U.S. once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim", said Trump.

Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as American concern grows over the North's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the US mainland.

Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for trying to contain North Korea, which counts on China for 90 per cent of its trade, but the effort has delivered few results.

Mattis vowed to "continue to take necessary measures to defend ourselves and our allies" against North Korea, which is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

Mattis says Trump's commentary on North Korea reflects frustration over the death of an American college student after his imprisonment in the isolated nation.

While the USA officials stressed agreement on the goal of North Korean denuclearization, the talks also dealt with China's sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea, with the Americans reaffirming opposition to Beijing's militarization of islands it is building in the strategic waterway.

The Chinese spokesperson said that in recent years "China has stepped up its efforts to promote peace talks" on the Korean peninsula.

"The Secretary (of State) has talked about sort of ramping up pressure on North Korea, and that is clearly what we're going to be pursuing with the Chinese this week as not only our strategy but the strategy of the worldwide community to try to change the calculus on the part of the North Korean regime", Nauert added.

The talks will take place against the backdrop of Otto Warmbier's death, a US citizen held captive in North Korea who passed away on Monday just days after returning home.

Susan Thornton, the US acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said the US will raise the issue as part of the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue in Washington.

"We should seek Chinese assistance, but I think it's a mistake to think that China is going to solve the problem for us". President Donald Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage over Kim Jong Un‚à "ôs totalitarian government".

President Donald Trump's administration has had mixed results in its efforts to shake up U.S. foreign policy, but officials feel they have made inroads with China that could prove productive. What should the administration's approach be to China as it expands its influence over the South China Sea? Released last week, he was in a coma when he arrived home, unable to see, speak, or respond to verbal commands.

  • Leroy Wright