Trump plans to push China to put greater pressure on North Korea during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week, but if Xi refuses, the USA will go its own way.
Tillerson echoed the sentiment, according to the statement, suggesting the summit was "extremely important" for the future of US-China ties.
Trump's top national security aides have completed a broad review of USA options aimed at countering North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, a senior US official said on Sunday.
Appearing on ABC television's This Week broadcast Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it is time for China to act and stop making "excuses that they're concerned, too".
The week ends with an action-packed Friday when the Labor Department issues it March U.S.jobs report and President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida. "It is all about trade".
"If China is not going to solve North Korea, (the United States) will". "That is all I am telling you", Trump was quoted as saying. Christopher Johnson who is a former China analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency says it's a chance for Trump and Xi to take one another's measure. Threats and sanctions, including China's recent cut-off of coal imports from North Korea, have failed to deter Pyongyang's drive to become a nuclear armed power.
The US is ready and "totally" able to tackle the North Korean threat with or without the help of China, the US President told the Financial Times, indicating that Washington will use the "trade" lever to push Beijing into exerting greater pressure on Pyongyang.
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President Donald Trump has been doing a lot of tough talk on North Korea.
Trump's first foreign visitor was British Prime Minister Theresa May, and the President put her in an awkward political position back home after announcing the first iteration of his travel ban hours after she left the White House.
The pair are expected to discuss trade and territorial disputes in the South China Sea as well as aggression from Pyongyang during meetings on Thursday and Friday. When asked whether unilateral action would be successful, the US president responded with a single word: "totally". Still, Trump offered this criticism: "When you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations, they are world champions".
Malaysia, which is also one of the countries that may be affected by the orders, said yesterday it was not responsible for any abuses that led to US' trade deficits.
Last year, the North conducted two nuclear tests and two dozen tests of ballistic missiles.
Other steps that have been under consideration are escalating cyber attacks and other covert action aimed at undermining North Korea's leadership, another U.S. source said recently. "I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so".