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China, US to work to persuade N Korea take a ‘different course’
March 19, 2017, 12:08 pm

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un is said to have supervised the latest missile engine test [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping has hailed cooperation with Washington following his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two countries struggle with the North Korean crisis.

On Sunday, North Korea confirmed that it had conducted a test of a new “high-thrust” rocket engine which was personally supervised by its leader Kim Jong Un.

Washington took on a more aggressive stance following the rocket engine test, with some pundits suggesting a military option.

Tillerson, who had visited both Japan and South Korea prior to China, had indicated as much as those traditional US allies said that the threat level from Pyongyang had reached new heights.

But on Sunday, the US said it was willing to work closely with China to convince North Korea to back away from its ballistic and nuclear weaponization program.

“We both believe that China-US cooperation henceforth is the direction we are both striving for. We are both expecting a new era for constructive development,” Xi said.

According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, Xi said that his country and the US should work together to increase strategic trust and mutual understanding, which in turn would boost their coordination on such geopolitical tensions as the North Korean missile crisis.

He also said that there were far more shared interests between the two countries than what separated them.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who met with Tillerson a day earlier described the talks as “candid, pragmatic and productive”.

“We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level, and we’ve committed ourselves to doing everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out,” Tillerson said after meeting with Wang.

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