US-China to meet as ‘activity detected’ at North Korea nuclear test site

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C)  CREDIT: AFP

Senior officials from China and the US will meet on Wednesday to discuss North Korea’s military ambitions, amid concern that the rogue state is preparing a sixth nuclear test.
The US is seeking to ramp up pressure on Beijing to help rein in its wayward neighbour at the meeting in Washington where Pyongyang’s missile programme is likely to top the agenda.
However, China is keen to broaden out the discussions and gain concessions on a string of contentious issues, including the deployment of US missiles in South Korea and Washington’s relationship with Taiwan.

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, and Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defence, will host Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of General Staff of the Chinese military, at the first Diplomatic and Security Dialogue summit.

The talks were established by Mr Trump and Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, in April.

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson CREDIT: EPA
The US President tweeted on Tuesday that China’s efforts in steering North Korea away from its military ambitions had “not worked out”.
The comments are being seen as an effort by Mr Trump to pressure Beijing into doing more.
The US president also appears to be sending a message to China by dispatching two bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force to Kim Jong-un’s regime.
The two US B-1 bombers flew as part of a training exercise with the South Korean military, officials said.

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!
Meanwhile, US spy satellites have detected activity in North Korea’s underground nuclear test facility, CNN reported, citing two unnamed officials.
“The officials said it is not yet clear if the activity indicates a sixth nuclear test is imminent,” the broadcaster said.
“But (they) noted there is concern that North Korea could set off a test during Wednesday's visit to Washington by top Chinese diplomats and military officials."
There was heavy speculation earlier this year that North Korea was set to provoke Mr Trump with its sixth nuclear test since 2006.
However, the reclusive state has instead carried out a series of missile launches. 

North Korean ground-to-sea cruise rocket
North Korean ground-to-sea cruise rocket CREDIT: EPA/KCNA
The increased tensions come after the death of US student Otto Warmbier, who was held in captivity in North Korea for 18 months before returning to the US in a coma earlier this month.
The 22-year-old’s death on Monday shocked many Americans, with Mr Trump denouncing Pyongyang as a “brutal regime”.
Administration officials are now considering a total ban on US citizens entering the isolated country, reports say.
Chinese media said on Wednesday that the death of The University of Virginia student, who was sentenced to 15 years hard labour for stealing a propaganda poster, may “propel Washington to impose greater pressure on Beijing.”
“The US side may leverage the incident and force China to make more commitments on the North Korea nuclear issue,” the Global Times newspaper said in an editorial.
Source  : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/21/us-china-meet-activity-detected-north-korea-nuclear-test-site/

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