China defends North Korea efforts in response to Trump tweet

Tillerson told a news conference after security talks with China on Wednesday that North Korea is using money laundering, extortion and malicious cyber activity to help fund its weapons programs.

Analysts noted that although he had previously expressed hope that the tensions with North Korea would be solved diplomatically, Trump escalated the tone of hostile rhetoric after Otto Warmbier died. The inaugural Sino-US diplomatic and security dialogue this week is a case in point. But in a recent tweet, Trump appeared to conclude that although China has tried, its efforts have not yielded the desired results.

According to data released online by China's General Administration of Customs on Saturday, imports from North Korea stood at 124 million dollars in May, down 31-point-six percent from the same period a year ago.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the newly-built Dental Sanitary Goods Factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea's exports to China tumbled 51.7 percent on-year to $114.55 million in March, followed by a 40.8 percent plunge to $99.27 million the following month.

But according to the New York Times, White House officials are now not willing to entertain any idea that would ease military and economic pressure on the North Korean regime.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Secretary of State James Mattis meet with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui, Chief of the General Staff of China's People's Liberation Army in Washington on 21 June 2017. Warmbier, the American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma last week - could leave China without a say in any negotiated outcome. The recent North Korean missile test, as well as the nuclear threats to the U.S., will be one of the higher levels of discussions in the dialogue.

Mattis stated that the meeting provided a "glimpse of the mutually beneficial future", and reaffirmed "the shared goal of denuclearization" despite areas where China and the U.S.do not see eye to eye, notably territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

"I think we have other cards to play in the diplomatic and the economic realm", he said.

"We discussed ways to decrease tension and reduce risk in the South China Sea", he said, adding, "As we maintain open dialogue on this topic, the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

"China has worked tirelessly to realize peace on the Korean peninsula, and has an important and constructive role in the process", Geng said, referring to Trump's tweet. The Sinchon Massacre was allegedly carried out by South Korean forces with USA backing during the Korean War.

Although Trump has criticized President Barack Obama's "strategic patience" policy as weak and ineffectual, he has yet to distinguish his North Korea policy from his predecessor's.

Pyongyang's state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, also warned US ally South Korea that following "psychopath" Trump's lead "will only lead to disaster". -Chinese military cooperation to reduce risk of conflict; and efforts to defeat the Islamic State group.

  • Leroy Wright