14 April, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday called acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn to say he had explained to Chinese President Xi Jinping the U.S. position on the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in South Korea, according to the Foreign Ministry here.
Such remarks by USA top diplomatic and security officials come amid predictions of another major provocation by North Korea this month, including a possible sixth nuclear test that some analysts say could be up to 14 times more powerful than the last.
The editorial noted Trump's recent decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a deadly gas attack last week.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a peaceful resolution of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steams towards the region.
"The summit was meaningful in that the North Korean nuclear issue and the South Korea-US alliance issue, which are related to our core interests, were discussed as important agenda items in an extensive and comprehensive manner as a result of close collaboration between Seoul and Washington", the ministry said in a press release. After the start of the Trump administration, which has reiterated that all options are on the table in dealing with Pyongyang, it is being mentioned more frequently.
He said China would maintain "communication and coordination" with Washington over it.More news: Ford puts babies to sleep with car-simulating cradle
In a separate interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Tillerson said, "President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken".
Tension has escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula amid concerns that reclusive North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches and Trump's threat of unilateral action to solve the problem.
South Korea's top nuclear envoy made the comment after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, as the U.S. sent a naval strike group to the region in a show of force.
With some observers now talking about the possibility of US military action against North Korea, a lawmaker from Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday said such a scenario was unlikely as a military strike against the North could precipitate a nuclear attack on the South or Japan.
Speculation of an imminent nuclear test is brewing as North Korea marks major anniversaries this month, including the 105th birthday of its founding leader, which is usually celebrated with a demonstration of military might.