Trump, Xi agree to 'peaceful' resolution of NoKo nuclear threat


Trump's National Security Council has reportedly provided the president with options for more direct intervention in North Korea, which has seen deteriorating relations with all of its regional neighbors including China as well as the USA amid continuing ballistic missile tests.

USA president Donald Trump has said his meetings with China's president Xi Jinping went well but regarding progress on trade "only time will tell".

The anticipated showdown between the United States and China over trade and North Korea has ended with little sign of confrontation — or concrete progress in resolving differences.

Xi said his first meeting with the US leader bears unique importance to the development of China-US ties.

"But the trade-off would be some kind of commitment on the part of the U.S.to come back into the negotiation process" or scale back military exercises in the South China Sea.

The statement may have lacked specifics, but was significant in that it committed the United States - at least temporarily - to continue cooperating with the worldwide community in looking to blunt North Korea's drive to become a viable nuclear power.

Trump told Xi the USA would "chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us", Tillerson said.

China has always been fairly confident that the United States would not risk an attack on North Korea, a much more risky target than Syria because of its nuclear arsenal and its capacity to hit Japan and South Korea, two US allies, Chinese analysts said.

McMaster and Mattis presented Trump with three options, which were quickly narrowed to two: bomb multiple airfields or just the Shayrat airfield near the city of Homs, where the military jet carrying the poison gas had taken off, the official said.

Wang Dong, Associate Professor of International Studies at China's elite Peking University, said the move may have had the added bonus in Trump's eyes of sending North Korea a message over its nuclear program, but that China was unlikely to be fazed.

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Those strikes added weight to Trump's threat last week to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program - although a much heavier risk would be required to take military action against the nuclear-armed North, which has its artillery and missiles trained on a key US ally, South Korea.

"They discussed the challenges that introduces for both countries, but there's a real commitment that we work together to see if this can not be resolved in a peaceful way", he said. Those strikes added weight to Trump's threat last week to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program.

Blinken noted that North Korea seeks the USA response to every single provocation and Washington should not play into the hands of the reclusive regime.

"Time is not on our side".

"The stated goal of the last test was to validate the nuclear weapon design that would arm all of North Korea's missiles", Lewis said of North Korea's September 2016 nuclear test - its fifth and largest to date.

Economist Louis Kuijs, from Britain-based consultancy Oxford Economics, has argued that if the Trump administration wants to help its people and companies benefit more from globalisation, it is making a mistake targeting the United States trade balance with China.

The Trump administration went a long way to prepare for the meeting, which came within the first 100 days of the new US presidency and was labeled by the New York Times as "the most important diplomatic encounter of his presidency so far". But China's leaders are still trying to figure out Trump, and his quick decision to strike Syria may cause them to reconsider that assumption.

China's leaders in fact have always been concerned about the yawning U.S. trade deficit with their country, $347 billion in 2016.

China has generally typically the Syrian regime.

The Trump administration ordered the bombing of a Syrian airbase and indicated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be removed from power, in response to a chemical weapons attack the Pentagon believes Assad ordered.