China-US tensions flare in testy Mike Pompeo visit to Beijing


"We urge the stop such misguided activities", Wang told Pompeo at the start of a meeting, citing the "escalation" of trade friction, actions towards Taiwan and "criticizing China's internal and external policies".

Also on Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he expects Kim to travel to Russian Federation and for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit North Korea soon amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear crisis.

In Seoul, Pompeo said he and Kim had agreed to soon begin working-level talks on details of denuclearisation and placement of global inspectors at one of North Korea's main nuclear facilities.

Before reporters were ushered from the room, Pompeo focused instead on what the two sides agreed on: the importance of denuclearizing of North Korea. "But we do think right that this is a place where ultimately some of these big hard issues have to be resolved by the nation's most senior leaders and hope to have those presented in a way that the two leaders can resolve them when they get together".

Regardless of the push and pull and the apparent lack of a breakthrough, it was an improvement on Pompeo's visit three months ago, when Kim declined to meet him at all. He said those actions have affected trust between the USA and China and that the United States should stop "this kind of mistaken action".

"There's a lot of logistics that will be required to execute that", Mr Pompeo told a news briefing in Seoul before leaving for Beijing.

The US is hoping to get China to support its plan for North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

It's also possible Pompeo wants to brief Trump - they are scheduled to have lunch on Tuesday - before any announcements are made.

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Meeting at the Diaoyutai Guest House, Wang told Pompeo that the U.S. had "stepped up rhetoric over trade tensions" after a raft of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of United States and Chinese goods.

The deputy head of the UN Command that oversees the armistice last week warned declaring a formal end to the Korean War could be a "slippery slope" to dispensing with the USA troop presence on the Korean Peninsula altogether.

North Korea's state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, featured eight photos of the meeting on its front page, including shots of Kim and Pompeo smiling and shaking hands, as well as some with Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong. Pompeo was hit by North Korean officials a few months ago as having a "gangster-like demand for denuclearization".

Since Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June, US-North Korea relations have stalled.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Sunday, "Secretary Pompeo and Chairman Kim also agreed to instruct their respective working-level teams to meet soon to intensify discussions on the key remaining issues to deliver on the Singapore Summit Joint Statement".

The US diplomat also met with Xi during a similar trip to the region in June.

Rising tensions have fueled concern in Beijing and Washington that the president's trade fight could, if left unchecked, foster a new Cold War between the two countries.

"I would certainly expect so", the official said.