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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to China this week for talks on how to defuse the perilous nuclear stand-off with North Korea.

The top US diplomat´s spokeswoman Heather Nauert said he would be set off for China on Thursday for talks this weekend with senior Chinese leaders.

"Secretary Tillerson will discuss a range of issues, including the president´s planned travel to the region, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and trade and investment," she said.

President Donald Trump is due to make his first official visit to China in November, as part of a tour that will also take in regional allies Japan and South Korea.

Washington has alternated between criticising and praising Beijing´s role in the North Korea crisis, on the one hand welcoming its support for new sanctions but also insisting it must do more to rein in its unruly neighbor.

As Tillerson prepared to for his trip, Nauert said "progress" had been made and declare that "China has taken tremendous steps in the right direction."


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