Visiting Washington, Chinese State Councilor, also Foreign Minister, Wang Yi told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday that if the United States seeks peace with Pyongyang and wants to make history, "now is the time" for the two countries' leaders to hold their first-ever summit.
The world saw a dramatic change of tone last week when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) condemned the latest United States-Republic of Korea (ROK) air combat drills, suspended North-South talks and threatened to scrap the summit if Pyongyang was pushed toward "unilateral nuclear abandonment."
On Wednesday, asking whether the meeting would go ahead, U.S. President Donald Trump said that "it could very well happen. Whatever it is, we'll know next week about Singapore."
Before the joint press conference with State Councilor Wang Yi, Pompeo told a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that he was "very hopeful" the summit would take place but the decision was ultimately up to DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un.
"A bad deal is not an option," Pompeo said in his written opening statement for the hearing. "If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away."
Pompeo said a U.S.-led sanctions pressure campaign would not be eased until the DPRK gives up nuclear weapons.
“We have made zero concessions to Chairman Kim and have no intention to do so,” he said. "Our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he declared.
When meeting his Chinese counterpart, Pompeo said the United States expects all countries, including China to "meet their obligations" to enforce sanctions on Pyongyang.
The last nuclear site
Pyongyang has asked foreign journalists from the U.S., the UK, Russia, the ROK and China to witness the demolition of the Punggye-ri nuclear site in the north, where Pyongyang conducted its all six nuclear underground tests.
CGTN's reporter Han Peng is among the dozens of reporters to witness the closure. They arrived in the port city of Wonsan on Wednesday, where they are waiting to be guided to the testing site by DPRK authorities.
The South China Sea
The United States revoked an invitation to China to the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC). The world’s largest joint naval exercise is hosted by the US and held every two years.
The June-August 2018 exercises would have been the third consecutive time the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy would have attended the exercises.
"The United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific. China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and destabilize the region,” U.S Department of Defense Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said in a press release.
Wang said the U.S.'s withdrawal of the invitation for China is “very non-constructive.”
The decision “is unhelpful to mutual understanding” between the two powers, and China is urging the U.S. to change its “negative mindset," the foreign minister said.
China's deployments in the water are necessary in defense of its sovereign territory, he added, by likening China defense facilities to the U.S. military presence in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.