CNN - China understands how dangerous North Korea's nuclear program has become and agrees action must be taken to stop it, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday, as the US sent an aircraft carrier strike group toward the Korean Peninsula.
"I think even China is beginning to recognize that this presents a threat to even China's interests," Tillerson said during an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" program Sunday. He was asked about how North Korea was discussed during last week's summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken," Tillerson said.
Tillerson did not offer specifics on what those actions might be, but said in Seoul last month that the US would consider military action against North Korea if it was provoked.
Despite Tillerson's assessment, China hasn't signaled any change in its approach to Pyongyang in the wake of the landmark summit.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn't mention North Korea in two statements it released after the two leaders met, and on Monday ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stuck to Beijing's usual script.
"China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue has been consistent," she said.
"During the China-US presidential summit at Mar-a-Lago, both sides said they were committed to the goal of denuclearizing the peninsula, would continue to comprehensively carry out UN Security Council resolutions related to North Korea, and agreed to keep close communication and coordination on the issue."
Earlier this year, China called on both North Korea and the US to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula -- Pyongyang by suspending its nuclear weapon and missile program and Washington by stopping military exercises with South Korea that antagonize Pyongyang.
Hua reiterated this approach at Monday's briefing.