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    Tillerson ends China trip with warm words from President Xi

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

    Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before their meeting at at the Great Hall of the People on March 19, 2017 in Beijing, China. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool

    With warm words from Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended his first trip to Asia since taking office with an agreement to work together with China on North Korea and putting aside trickier issues.

    China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and the U.S. decision to base an advanced missile defense system in South Korea.

    Beijing is also deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions toward self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, with the Trump administration crafting a big new arms package for the island that is bound to anger China.

    But meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, those issues were brushed aside by Xi and Tillerson, at least in front of reporters, with Xi saying Tillerson had made a lot of efforts to achieve a smooth transition in a new era of relations.

    “You said that China-U.S. relations can only be friendly. I express my appreciation for this,” Xi said.

    Xi said he had communicated with President Donald Trump several times through telephone conversations and messages.

    “We both believe that China-U.S. cooperation henceforth is the direction we are both striving for. We are both expecting a new era for constructive development,” Xi said.

    “The joint interests of China and the United States far outweigh the differences, and cooperation is the only correct choice for us both,” Xi added, in comments carried by China’s Foreign Ministry.

    China and the United States must strengthen coordination of hot regional issues, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and protect the broad stability of ties, Xi said.

    Tillerson replied that Trump looks forward to enhancing understanding with China and the opportunity for a visit in the future.

    Tillerson said Trump places a “very high value on the communications that have already occurred” between Xi and Trump.

    “And he looks forward to enhancing that understanding in the opportunity for a visit in the future,” Tillerson said.

    “We know that through further dialogue we will achieve a greater understanding that will lead to a strengthened — strengthening of the ties between China and the United States and set the tone for our future relationship of cooperation.”

    Trump has so far been an unpredictable partner for China, attacking Beijing on issues ranging from trade to the South China Sea and in December by talking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

    Two days after accusing China of doing too little to help curb Pyongyang’s weapons drive, Trump told reporters he held meetings on North Korea over the weekend at his Florida resort and said the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, was “acting very, very badly.”

    Underscoring the tensions, North Korea conducted a test of a new high-thrust engine at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch station, and Kim said the successful test was “a new birth” of its rocket industry, Pyongyang’s official media said on Sunday.

    SOME PROGRESS

    Speaking in Seoul on Friday, Tillerson issued the Trump administration’s starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying in Seoul that a military response would be “on the table” if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.

    Still, China and the United States appeared to have made some progress or put aside differences on difficult issues, at least in advance of a planned summit between Xi and Trump.

    Both Tillerson and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi struck a more conciliatory tone in their meeting, with Tillerson saying the United States and China would work together to get nuclear-armed North Korea to take “a different course”.

    North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches, in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and is believed by experts and government officials to be working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that could reach the United States.

    Washington wants China, the North’s neighbor and main trading partner, to use its influence to rein in the weapons programs.

    China says it is committed to enforcing U.N. sanctions on North Korea, but all sides have a responsibility to lessen tensions and get back to the negotiating table.

    Chinese official also repeatedly say they do not have the influence over North Korea that Washington and others believe, and express fears poverty-struck North Korea could collapse if it were cut off completely, pushing destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China. — By Yeganeh Torbati and Michael Martina | BEIJING

    (Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Florida; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Sandra Maler)

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    EU imposes oil embargo on North Korea

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

    “The measures we adopted today take effect immediately so as of today and our new measures include a total ban on EU investments in the DPRK in all sectors,” said the European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini.

    Speaking after an EU Foreign Ministers meeting, Mogherini said the 28-member bloc decided to impose a blanket ban on doing business with North Korea in sanctions that go beyond the latest U.N. measures. The EU does not sell oil to Pyongyang.

    The move aimed at encouraging countries that have more significant levels of trade with the country to follow suit.

    Following North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test, the U.N. Security Council capped North Korean imports of crude oil, but China and Russia resisted an outright ban.

    Mogherini said she hoped the new measures would help bring back North Korea to the negotiating table.

    “This for us is aimed at opening that political space for negotiations that currently we do not see. We know out of the experience that economic and diplomatic pressure can open space for diplomatic negotiations. We do hope that this set of measures will do so in the coming future,” said foreign policy chief.

    As part of the measures, North Korean workers in the EU – estimated to be about 400, mainly in Poland – now face a lower limit on the amount of money they can send home and their work visas will not be renewed once they expire.

    The sanctions add three more top North Korean officials and six businesses to a blacklist, banning them from travel to the EU and freezing their assets.

    That will take the total of those sanctioned by the EU to 41 individuals and 10 companies. — Reuters

     

     

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    Philippines welcomes independent investigation on its campaign against illegal drugs – Cayetano 

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017


    After personally meeting each other at the United Nations General Assembly, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his American counterpart U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a bilateral meeting at Washington DC in the United States this week.

    “We have a number of important issues on which to discuss, not the least of which is the important upcoming East Asia Summit in Manila, so, welcome Mr. Secretary,” said Tillerson.

    Secretary Cayetano told Secretary Tillerson that the Philippines is ready to allow independent observers or investigators to scrutinize Philippine’s problem on illegal drugs, and the administration’s war on drugs.

    However, Cayetano requested for an honest conduct of investigation that is not tainted with politics.

    The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs secretary emphasized to Tillerson that the Philippines does not allow state-sponsored killings, especially of drug suspects.

    Cayetano also expressed gratitude to the United States for helping the Duterte administration in its campaign against illicit drugs, noting that the Philippines remains open to receiving more aid from the Washington.

    Before his bilateral meeting with Tillerson, Cayetano participated in a forum at the headquarters of the central for strategic and international studies, a think tank group based in Washington DC. He discussed the current foreign policy of the Philippines, including the controversial issue of North Korea.

    According to the former senator and now diplomat, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with Philippine embassies and consulates near North Korea regarding preparations in the event the tension between Washington and Pyongyang further escalates.

    “Well as much as humanly possible, all our embassies and posts are preparing in areas that can be reached by the missiles of North Korea.  As you know, they mentioned Guam and then, of course, South Korea then Japan. But we will join in prayers for such an incident not to happen,” said Cayetano. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Japan Parliament dissolved, snap October 22 election expected

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved Parliament’s Lower House on Thursday for a snap election, seeking a mandate to stick to his tough stance towards a volatile North Korea and re-balance the social security system.

    “I hereby dissolve the lower house according to Article 7 of the Japanese Constitution,” said House of Representatives Speaker Tadamori Oshima.

    Abe, whose ratings have risen to around 50% from around 30% in July, is gambling his ruling bloc can keep its Lower House majority even if it loses the two-thirds “super majority” needed to achieve his long-held goal of revising the post-war pacifist constitution to clarify the military’s role.

    However, the LDP-led bloc’s outlook for the upcoming election scheduled on October 22, has been upended by a fledgling conservative party led by popular Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike.

    Koike, a media-savvy former defense minister whose name has often been floated to be Japan’s first female prime minister, said on Wednesday she would not run for a seat herself, but speculation that she will persist. — Reuters

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