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Mourners Gather In Wyoming, Ohio, For Funeral Of Otto Warmbier

23 Juin 2017

North Korea say his death soon after his return home is a mystery and has dismissed accusations that he died because of torture and beating during his captivity.

Despite worldwide condemnation and sanctions, North Korea has a small nuclear arsenal and is developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that threaten Japan and South Korea - and one day could even hit some United States cities.

China and the USA agree that North Korea's nuclear program represents a major threat to peace and security and has called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the U.S. secretaries of state and defense said after meeting their Chinese colleagues.

It was unclear if the tweet was a signal that those efforts have failed. American officials acknowledged there is a link between the economic issue and North Korea.

"We see a young man go over there healthy and, (after) a minor act of mischief, come home dead, basically. this goes beyond any kind of understanding of law and order, of humanity, of responsibility towards any human being", Mattis said.

At the talks, Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted Chinese foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi and Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's joint staff department.

Mattis says China shares the US desire for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and "continues to work this issue". South Korea said the women defected on their own, while North Korea claimed they were deceived and abducted to the South. President Moon also branded Kim Jong-un quote "an unreasonable leader and a very unsafe person", but noted that Kim is the one with total control over North Korea, and the one with the authority to denuclearize.

Tillerson informed that China has expressed its commitment to resolve their disputes peacefully and in accordance with recognized principles of global law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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Both sides called on North Korea for to halt its illegal nuclear weapons programme and its ballistic missile test as stipulated in the UN Security Council resolutions. The meeting of top USA and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs was held a day after President Donald Trump said China's efforts to use its leverage with Pyongyang had failed, raising fresh doubts about his administration's strategy for countering the threat from North Korea.

Still, Americans continue to travel there for the novelty as well as to teach in universities and do discreet missionary work.

But he firmly rejected two statements issued last week by Tomas Ojea-Quintana, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, about detainees and stalled family reunions between Koreans on both sides of the divided peninsula. Beforehand, China said it was hoping for "positive outcomes" from Wednesday's dialogue.

Trump added: 'Otto's fate deepens my administration's determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.

The talks also covered the South China Sea, where Beijing's island-building and construction of possible military facilities have rattled neighbors and caused tension with Washington.

However, on the eve of a high-level meeting with China, Pyongyang's largest trade partner and closest ally, the Trump administration has sounded a more cautious note, saying that they hold North Korea responsible for Warmbier's death but giving no indication of how they will respond. Three Americans remain in detention in the reclusive country.

A 2008 Congressional Research Service report figured North Korea's illicit activities could bring in anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion in profits annually. The route to inflicting significant economic pain on Kim's government remains through China. They include secondary sanctions on Chinese banks and companies doing business with North Korea; a military strike; or simple acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear power. Such a move risks fraying relations between the world's two biggest economies.

If China makes enough headway on containing the North Korean threat, the US will not make tough demands on economic issues. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.