US, China discuss North Korean aggression

A White House foreign policy adviser says the type of missile North Korea used in its failed launch exploded within 4-5 seconds.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency says China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a phone call Sunday amid escalating tensions in the region.

It was unclear exactly when the conversation took place on Sunday, but Xinhua’s report of the call came out after a failed missile launch by North Korea. The report included no further details on the call between State Councilor Yang and Tillerson. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China, North Korea’s most important ally and key provider of food and fuel aid, has sought to cool tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, repeatedly calling for dialogue.

US officials say the Trump administration’s emphasis will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China.

A White House foreign policy adviser says the type of missile North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and it exploded 4-5 seconds after it was launched.

According to the adviser, the US had good intelligence both before and after the launch. The adviser is traveling with Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived in Seoul in the afternoon to start a 10-day trip to Asia.

No planned response is expected from the Trump administration because the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s initial understanding of the launch, said there was no need for the US to reinforce the failure.

The official said that had it been a nuclear test, “other actions would have been taken by the US.”

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two last year. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

By: AP