U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold a joint press conference in Beijing on March 18. Tillerson is visiting China for the second time in 2017, following North Korea's sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3. File Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department | License Photo
Sept. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to meet with Chinese officials on Saturday in a trip that could be an opportunity to provide Beijing with clarification, regarding recent comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on North Korea.
The visit comes at a time when North Koreans say ordinary people are weary of anti-American propaganda.
Tillerson's meeting will come a day after the White House officially confirmed Trump's trip to Asia, which is to take place from Nov. 3 to 14 and is to include state visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
China may be seeking an explanation from Tillerson regarding Trump's recent tweets, including one warning North Korea "they won't be around much longer," The New York Times reported.
Tillerson, meanwhile, has been more cautious on North Korea and has said on repeated occasions the United States does "not seek the collapse of the regime."
But the United States' top diplomat has also changed his mind about what North Korea must do to resume talks with the United States.
Trump's National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, has said North Korea must allow inspectors to assess its program, but it is unlikely Pyongyang will agreed to denuclearize, a condition for the talks, according to The Times.
Some North Korea observers, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, says North Korea is developing weapons because it is under a genuine threat from the United States.
But sources in North Korea who recently spoke to South Korean news service Daily NK tell a different story.
According to multiple sources, there has been no special military or civilian training to prepare for potential war.
A source in Pyongyang said there "is no particular atmosphere of war" in the city aside from a recent rally, adding authorities may be acting carefully to not provoke or anger ordinary North Koreans who are coping with economic difficulties, including skyrocketing gasoline prices.
Some citizens are "tired" of attending anti-America rallies, the source said, according to Daily NK on Friday.