The top U.S. envoy on North Korea was in China Saturday on his weeklong trip to Asia to discuss cooperation in dealing with the military state, a diplomatic source here said.
Joseph Yun began his trip to Beijing and Seoul on Friday and plans to arrive in Seoul on Monday, according to Yonhap News Agency citing the source.
The Washington's special representative for North Korea policy has taken the trip as the U.S. President Donald Trump began to reshape his administration's North Korea policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled a tough stance on the North during his ongoing trip to Asia this week.
On Friday in Seoul, he said that America's so-called strategic patience approach to Pyongyang, which was introduced by the former U.S President Barack Obama, has ended.
During his trip, Yun was expected to hold separate talks with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts, Wu Dawei and Kim Hong-kyun, respectively.
Observers said that Yun may use his trip to explore ways to further pressure Pyongyang into stopping its military provocations and giving up its nuclear ambitions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been raising tensions on the peninsula with a series of missile tests in recent months. On Mar. 6, his regime fired off four ballistic missiles toward the East Sea in an apparent angry reaction to the ongoing military drills by Seoul and Washington. Kim denounced the drills as "a rehearsal for an invasion."
The North's latest military threat came less than a month after its launch of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile. The weapon testified how the state is on course towards developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile that threatens not only South Korea but also U.S. bases in the Pacific rim.