Defense Officials Warn of Seoul's Destruction in War With North Korea

In addition, US and North Korea relations have deteriorated even further with the latest incident concerning the death of Otto Warmbier.

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.

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui met Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during the talks.

Mattis says China shares the USA desire for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and "continues to work this issue".

China has spoken about how it stopped purchasing coal from North Korea, Hurd continued, but "they had already exchanged money for a bunch of coal for the rest of the year". She said the USA would be consulting with China on implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that are meant to restrict revenue and technology for the North's nuclear and missile programs.

"We reiterated to China that they have a diplomatic responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime if they want to prevent further escalation in the region", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

China, North Korea's main trading partner, has been accused of not fully enforcing existing United Nations sanctions on its neighbor, and has resisted some tougher measures.

The dialogue on Wednesday was one of four high-level meetings initiated during the April meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. The tweet puzzled even Trump's own aides. "At least I know China tried", Trump wrote in his Twitter post, as quoted by the International Business Times.

During the talks, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin also touched on the close policy coordination that the two countries are engaged in regarding sanctions imposed on North Korea, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said.

Trump indicated to Xi Jinping at their Mar-El-Lago summit in early April that he wanted progress on North Korea within one hundred days so there could be some aggressive moves by the USA administration, including sanctions on Chinese firms, by mid-July.

China and the United States also reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, according to the statement. But it was unclear if Pyongyang was preparing for a sixth nuclear test.

  • Leroy Wright