Tillerson and Mattis to hold joint news conference after talks with China

N. Korea, terrorism expected to feature at US-China dialogue

Twitter diplomacy risks escalating tensions surrounding North Korea.

North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons has drawn global criticism, notably sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.

The death last week of American student Warmbier, who fell into a coma after being arrested in North Korea, has raised questions about whether his tour agency was adequately prepared for its trips into the hard-line communist state.

Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as American concern grows over the North's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the US mainland. The slump came in the wake of Beijing's move in February to ban coal imports from Kim Jong Un's regime until end of the year, in compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions over North Korea's nuclear program.

President Donald Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as American concern grows over the North's acceleration towards having a nuclear missile that can strike the USA mainland.

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, appeared in a joint press conference in Washington, on June 21, after meeting with Chinese officials for a defense and diplomatic dialogue.

Tillerson stressed the need to choke off funding sources including money laundering, labour export and computer hacking.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday China should not be so easily discredited, South Korean news service Newsis reported. 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. "At least I know China tried!"

Washington has considered further "secondary sanctions" against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with North Korea, which China opposes. The consideration came as Trump called the North's captivity of the now-deceased Warmbier a "total disgrace".

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out". The tweet puzzled even Trump's own aides.

His boss, President Donald Trump, had expressed frustration the day before with China's unsuccessful attempts to halt North Korea's continued nuclear and missile development. Without giving details, Mattis said, "We will continue to take necessary measures to defend ourselves and our allies".

Yeom Seung-cheol of Unification Media Group said at the same seminar in Seoul on Wednesday that North Korean laborers in China make a monthly wage of $200-300, but North Korean authorities collect two-thirds of the income earned. But it was unclear if Pyongyang was preparing for a sixth nuclear test.

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