NON-DENIAL DENIAL

China Won’t Confirm U.S. Claim of Pressuring N. Korea

Chinese officials on Friday would neither confirm nor deny U.S. claims that Beijing has threatened to impose unilateral sanctions on North Korea in response to any additional nuclear testing. Despite U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s claim that the Chinese government informed D.C. of its intention—as North Korea’s largest trading partner and provider of aid—to take “sanctions actions on their own,” Beijing’s foreign ministry refused to give a direct response on the matter when publicly questioned about it. China has come under pressure from the U.S. to leverage its immense power with Pyongyang to push the North Korean regime to comply with UN resolutions on its nuclear program. Additionally, on the U.S. side, Tillerson said in an NPR interview scheduled to air Friday that the U.S. is open to directly bargaining with North Korea over ending its nuclear program. “Obviously, that will be the way we would like to solve this,” he is reported as saying.