Supporters of the Chinese government wait for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday, April 6, 2017. March alone saw four ballistic missile tests, while Choe Myong Nam, a North Korean diplomat at the United Nations, stated that Pyongyang is actively pursuing "pre-emptive first strike capability".Reports that Kim Jong-un's regime is on the brink of obtaining missiles capable of striking the USA mainland have placed Washington on high alert, and President Donald Trump is determined to pursue a tough line. An anti-Chinese government demonstrator, left, is involved in an altercation with a supporter of the government, right, in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday, April 6, 2017.
As the leaders of China and the United States sit down for a summit on Thursday, North Korea has made sure it also has something on the negotiating table: A nuclear-tipped bargaining chip.
With North Korea ramping up its ballistic missile development and President Donald Trump vowing to rein in Kim Jong-un's regime, the success of missile defense efforts has taken on heightened importance in Washington.
But the two days of meetings appeared heavier on optics than substance.
A press statement agreed to by all 15 members expresses "utmost concern" at North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council" by conducting the latest launch less than three weeks after the previous test.
The Pentagon has tentatively scheduled for late May the next intercept test of its $36 billion ground-based missile defense system - the first in almost three years, according to a spokesman.
"They recognize that shows our clear determination to crack down on this sort of activity", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters. ". Both agreed to push forward the deployment of THAAD by USA forces in Korea", the statement said. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
North Korea now has the strength to "wipe out" the United States "in a moment" with an H-bomb, the editorial said.
The new Trump administration hasn't backed down on the Thaad deployment. He also noted the importance of protecting human rights, and asked China to adhere to global norms in the seas of East Asia, Tillerson said.
He also last week signed a pair of executive orders focused on reducing the USA trade deficit, an apparent shot at China, which accounted for the vast bulk - $347 billion - of last year's $502 billion trade deficit.
Trump said in a brief appearance before reporters that he and Xi made "tremendous progress" in their first face-to-face talks and that he believe "lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away". He did not elaborate.
The U.S. announced the missile barrage shortly after Trump and Xi wrapped up dinner Thursday. -China relationship and burnishing his foreign policy credentials than achieving a breakthrough.
Nonetheless, the two leaders are meeting for a second day at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate as planned Friday.
Ahead of the dinner, Trump said he and Xi had already had a long discussion and "developed a friendship". He noted the historic responsibility of both countries - the world's largest economies and emerging military rivals - to work toward peace and stability.
However, Xi apparently got something out of dinner.
Xi's visit was overshadowed, though, by a US missile barrage on an air base in Syria in response to this week's chemical weapons attack against civilians, which the USA blamed on President Bashar Assad.