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‘No disagreement’ on North Korea issue between Xi and Trump, Tillerson says
 
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Photo: ifeng.com
 
There is “no disagreement” on the North Korea issue between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, though he conceded that there is some divergence on how to deal with the issue. 
 
“There is no space between both of our objectives,” Tillerson told reporters after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing. 
 
“The key topic of discussion was our continuous joint effort to increase pressure on North Korea to convince them to abandon their nuclear missile program”, he said, adding that China and the US “have same objective” to denuclearize North Korea. 
 
He also said that there are “signs” showing that international sanctions imposed against North Korea had created some impact on the country.
 
“Some stress has been created within North Korea, on their economy, some of their citizens, or potentially some of their military,” he said. 
 
According to CNN, this is the first time that the US has indicated the latest round of UN sanctions are beginning to affect North Korea. 
 
“There are clear signs and the Chinese side has shared with us some of the signs that they're seeing. We see certain signs with our own human intel and other sources we have,” he said. A lot of businesses at the China-North Korea border are shutting down as a result of sanctions, he added.
 
Tillerson’s remarks came one day after Trump’s arrival at Beijing on Wednesday (Beijing time), his first state-visit to China as president.
 
Trump has been asking China to do more to reign in North Korea’s nuclear program and missile tests, and is expected to press Xi further in handling North Korea.
 
“President Trump has been very clear with President Xi that Xi is a very powerful neighbor of North Korea … and a very strong man who can solve this issue for President Trump,” Tillerson said. 
 
Trump and Xi had a “very, very detailed” exchange on the North Korea issue during Trump’s stay in Beijing, Tillerson said. 
 
 
The US President Donald Trump (right) are attending a welcome ceremony in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 9, 2017. Photo: Getty Images
 
Asked whether China was complying with UN resolutions on North Korea, he said the country was in compliance. 
 
Prior to Trump’s arrival at Beijing, he said in Seoul that President Xi has been “really, very very helpful” in dealing with North Korea.
 
Singling out China and Russia, Trump called for all nations to work together on the denuclearization of North Korea, while referring the country to “a worldwide threat that required worldwide action.”
 
Trump has said he is open to dialogue with Kim Jong-un, but the US will also “be ready with military response,” Tillerson said Thursday.
 
Asked about a possible meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip, Tillerson told reporters that it is still “under consideration,” adding that the US is “working with Russia on a number of difficult areas.”
 
China is the third stop of Trump’s Asia trip following Japan and South Korea. 
 
According to Tillerson, Trump and Xi had a “frank, open and productive” exchange on Thursday, which also included talks on trade, human rights, as well as disputes in the South China Sea. 
 
President Trump and his delegation will leave China and head to Vietnam on Friday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. 
 
His final engagement was scheduled to be a summit of Southeast Asian nations in the Philippine capital, Manila, on 13 November, but the trip has now been extended by an extra day so he can also attend the East Asia Summit.

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