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The Latest: US wants ‘much greater’ China pressure on NKorea

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appears at news conference with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis following a Diplomatic and Security Dialogue Meeting with a Chinese delegation including State Counselor Yang Jiechi and military Chief of Joint Staff Fang Fenghui, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on high-level talks between the United States and China (all times local):

4 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China has a responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to prevent an escalation of tensions in the region.

Tillerson told a news conference after security talks with China on Wednesday that North Korea is using money laundering, extortion and malicious cyber activity to help fund its weapons programs.

He says, “We must step up our efforts to curtail these sources of revenue.”

Tillerson says the U.S. and China agree that their companies should not do business with any North Korean companies that are subject to U.N. sanctions.

He is not specifying any particular action China may take to meet that goal.

North Korea conducts about 90 percent of its trade through China. China maintains that it implements the U.N. sanctions properly.


3:25 p.m.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the American people are growing increasingly frustrated over the government in North Korea that “provokes, provokes and provokes.”

Mattis was speaking after high-level security talks Wednesday with China in which North Korea was a key topic of discussion. Ahead of the talks, President Donald Trump tweeted that Beijing’s efforts to sway its wayward ally weren’t working.

Mattis says Trump’s commentary on North Korea reflects frustration over the death of an American college student after his imprisonment in the isolated nation.

He says the student, Otto Warmbier, had gone there a healthy man and ended up dead after “a minor act of mischief.”

Mattis says China shares the U.S. desire for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and “continues to work this issue.”


9 a.m.

U.S. and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs have begun talks in Washington that are expected to focus on the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea.

Secretary of State State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are hosting China’s foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi (yahng jee-uh-CHEHR’), and uh-CHERR) and the head of the People’s Liberation Army’s joint staff department, Gen. Fang Fenghui (FAHNG FENG-wuee).

The death of an American college student after his imprisonment in North Korea is threatening to overshadow the talks at the State Department.

The talks are intended to build on progress made when President Donald Trump met China’s president in Florida in April.

The officials also will discuss counterterrorism as well as tensions in the South China Sea.


4:25 a.m.

The death of an American college student after his imprisonment in North Korea is threatening to overshadow high-level U.S.-Chinese talks in Washington.

President Donald Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with North Korea’s totalitarian government.

American concern is growing over North Korea’s acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the U.S. mainland.

U.S. and Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs are meeting later Wednesday in Washington for security talks. The U.S. side says North Korea will get “top billing” in the discussions.

They will also talk about tensions in the South China Sea.

No cause of death has been determined for student Otto Warmbier (WARM’-beer). He was held for nearly a year-and-a-half in North Korea before being sent home in a coma last week.

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