North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine As Tillerson Visits Beijing

It was an unequivocal message that military force would be an option of priority over diplomatic means.

In talks with Mr Xi in Beijing on Sunday, Mr Tillerson said Mr Trump places a "very high value" on communications with the Chinese president via phone calls and exchanges of letters.

During his visit to South Korea, Tillerson had cautioned North Korea that all options are on the table to deal with Pyongyang's provocative nuclear and missile programmes.

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He added: "We both believe that China-US cooperation henceforth is the direction we are both striving for". China is concerned about South Korea's use of a powerful anti-missile system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), against North Korea, seeing it as a threat to Chinese security.

Tillerson touched down by helicopter Friday at Camp Bonifas, a U.S. base about 400 meters (438 yards) from the Demilitarized Zone, a Cold War vestige created after the Korean War ended in 1953.

"North Korea is behaving badly".

He vowed in Tokyo on Thursday to press Beijing to rein in its neighbour but, speaking after meeting Japanese officials, offered no new details of his plan to defuse the threat posed by Pyongyang's recent ballistic missile tests.

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The anti-nuclear weapons group Global Zero said Tillerson's "rejection of diplomacy and gesturing towards conflict with North Korea is both irresponsible and dangerous".

There are early signs of improved relations, however, and the tour may be able to build on these.

Washington has been pressing Beijing to do more to stop North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first visit to South Korea on Friday.

Working together to get North Korea to change course is something Trump and Xi will need to work out face to face.

Xi told the visiting secretary: "We should properly handle and manage sensitive issues to promote the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relationship from a new start", adding that the cooperative relationship between the two big economies is "the only correct option".

Xi suggested that the two countries increase strategic trust and mutual understanding, review bilateral ties from long-term and strategic perspectives and expand fields of cooperation for win-win outcomes.

China hasn't responded directly to those comments, although Beijing has called repeatedly for all sides to take steps in reducing tensions.