Tillerson to skip meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers

Tillerson's remarks causes confusion, using different descriptions for S. Korea and Japan

Tillerson's remarks causes confusion, using different descriptions for S. Korea and Japan

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could skip a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting with foreign heads of states on April 5 and 6 and instead attend a meeting at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Their meeting could take place as early as next month.

Beijing is also deeply suspicious of USA intentions toward self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, with the Trump administration crafting a big new arms package for the island that is bound to anger China.

"I think it's important to recognise that the political and diplomatic efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to the point of denuclearisation have failed", Tillerson said. We've developed a number of plans to deal with threats from North Korea.

Two days after accusing China of doing too little to help curb Pyongyang's weapons drive, Trump told reporters he held meetings on North Korea over the weekend at his Florida resort and said the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, was "acting very, very badly".

When Barack Obama was president, the USA had ordered strong economic restrictions on North Korea and against North Korean individuals.

"It is clear that a different approach is required", Tillerson said.

"The joint military exercises by the hostile forces are aimed at pre-emptive strikes against the DPRK", North Korean Embassy official Pak Myong-ho said, referring to the official name of his country, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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However, some experts argue that stronger actions are not necessary at this time.

In Beijing, Tillerson said the US and China should work together to get North Korea to take a "different course".

As China and the USA under a new president look to chart a fresh course in their relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called cooperation "the only correct choice".

The two sides are preparing for a summit meeting between Xi and his USA counterpart, President Donald Trump, the first time the two will meet.

The test coincided with Mr Tillerson's visit to Asia.

China says it is committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but all sides have a responsibility to lessen tensions and get back to the negotiating table. George Grow was the editor.

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