China has been under increased pressure from the United States and many other countries to use its economic leverage over North Korea to stop leader Kim Jong Un's regime from making progress on its nuclear and missile programs. Kim is accused of committing "hostile criminal acts with an aim to subvert the country". Diplomats say Washington and Beijing are negotiating a possible stronger UN Security Council response - such as new sanctions - to North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches.
It was the second such test in a week and comes as the Air Force works to improve the Minuteman III missile's reliability and demonstrate to North Korea the US nuclear deterrent capability.
"It is unclear if this activity indicates that a nuclear test has been cancelled, the facility is in standby mode or that a test is imminent", said the researchers from the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
According to Tillerson, Washington and Moscow were working to see if trust could be rebuilt by starting one issue at a time.
Asked Wednesday about Kim's detention, the U.S. State Department said that it was aware of the report about a U.S. citizen being detained, but declined further comment "due to privacy considerations".
The commentary said China's call for Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program was "a wanton violation of the independent and legitimate rights, dignity and supreme interests" of North Korea.
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The United States has urged China, North Korea's only major ally, to do more to rein in its neighbour's nuclear and missile programs, which have prompted an assertive response from the Trump administration, warning that an "era of strategic patience" is over.
Previously, the USA itself prepared a plan of evacuation of its 230,000 citizens from the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Russia, the other major supplier of oil to North Korea, exported about 36,000 tonnes of oil products in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, according to United Nations data.
"A string of absurd and reckless remarks are now heard from China every day only to render the present bad situation tenser", a commentary by the official Korean Central News Agency, KCNA, said, referring to recent commentaries in China's People's Daily and Global Times newspaper.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been escalating for weeks, fueled by concern North Korea may conduct its sixth nuclear test in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
DPRK is a reference to North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Repubic of Korea.
Chinese suggestions that the North give up its weapons crossed a "red line" and were "ego-driven theory based on big-power chauvinism" said the article, bylined "Kim Chol" - believed to be a pseudonym. It has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of 2016.