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US sees 'strong consensus' with China on N.Korea

12 july 2013, 15:22
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hinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) is escorted by US Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall (L) as he arrives at the White House for a meeting with US President. ©AFP
hinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) is escorted by US Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall (L) as he arrives at the White House for a meeting with US President. ©AFP
The United States said Thursday it saw a "strong consensus" with China on demanding that close Beijing ally North Korea take clear steps to give up its nuclear program, AFP reports.

A White House statement said that President Barack Obama and two Chinese officials, who were visiting Washington for wide-ranging talks, "agreed on the fundamental importance of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, one of the main US officials in the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, said the two sides spoke at length about North Korea, known formally as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"I think there is a very strong consensus between us on... the importance of the United States and China working together to ensure the DPRK lives up to its obligations and translates rhetoric and prior commitments into reality," Burns told reporters.

Burns said that the two countries both wanted "verifiable denuclearization" and "meaningful steps on the part of the DPRK to demonstrate its seriousness."

"Neither the United States or China are interested in talks simply for the sake of talks," he said.

But State Councilor Yang Jiechi, in brief remarks on North Korea, renewed China's frequent call for the resumption of long-stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear program.

China "will remain committed to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and upholding peace and stability on the peninsula and create conditions for the early resumption of the six-party talks," Yang said.

China long faced US criticism for not reining in North Korea, with experts believing Beijing wants at all costs to avoid a collapse of Kim Jong-Un's regime that could cause a refugee crisis and bring a unified, US-allied Korea to its border.

But US officials have praised China for cracking down on North Korean banking as part of international sanctions after Kim defied all governments including Beijing by going ahead with a third nuclear test in February.

North Korea later made threats that were apocalyptic even by its own standards, including saying it was prepared for a nuclear strike against the United States.

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