China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday (March 16) that it’s open to proposals in dealing with Pyongyang after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the escalating threat from North Korea’s nuclear program showed a clear need for a new approach.
Two decades of diplomatic and other efforts, including aid given to North Korea by the United States, had failed to achieve the goal of denuclearizing Pyongyang, Tillerson said on Thursday in Tokyo during his first state visit to Japan.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s proposal of last week that North Korea should stop its nuclear and missile tests and South Korea and the United States should stop joint military drills and seek talks instead.
She added that China is open to proposals, as long as they are conducive to ameliorating existing tensions on the Korean peninsula and maintaining peace and stability.
Tillerson visits South Korea and China later in the week. The New York Times reported on Wednesday (March 15) that he will warn Chinese officials that the United States would increase missile defenses in the region and target Chinese banks if Beijing does not constrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions.