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Tillerson to make first UN visit for meeting on N. Korea

Update: April, 04/2017 - 12:15

UNITED NATIONS  US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first visit to the United Nations later this month to chair a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea.

The April 28 meeting on non-proliferation and North Korea will be "timely" following a US-China summit this week, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Monday.

The United States holds the presidency of the Security Council in April, giving President Donald Trump’s administration an opportunity to showcase its foreign policy priorities.

Trump will hold his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida this week, with North Korea shaping up as a key priority for the US administration.

Washington has complained loudly that China is not taking action to rein in North Korea, which last year carried out two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile tests.

"The United States has seen China for 25-plus years say they are concerned about North Korea, but we haven’t seen them act like they are concerned about North Korea," Haley said.

"I think this administration wants to see them act and I think they are going to pressure them to do that."

Haley described the US-China summit as "very, very important" to address the crisis over North Korea and that China had a key role to play to force Pyongyang to change course.

"The only one that North Korea is going to respond to is China," said Haley.

Tillerson’s recent Asia tour focused on addressing the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programmes.

While at the United Nations, Tillerson may meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has been concerned about US moves to cut funding to the world body.

A UN spokesman said there were discussions on arranging the first face-to-face talks between the UN chief and Tillerson, but that nothing had been scheduled yet. – AFP

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