US, China agree N Korea denuclearization effort

Reuters, BEIJING

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 - Page 1

The US and China agreed yesterday to make a joint effort to push for the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met China’s top leaders in a bid to persuade them to exert pressure on North Korea, whose main diplomatic supporter is Beijing, to scale back its belligerence and, eventually, return to nuclear talks.

Before travelling to Beijing for the first time as secretary of state, Kerry had made no secret of his desire to see China take a more active stance toward North Korea, which in recent weeks has threatened nuclear war against the US and South Korea.

Kerry and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) said both countries supported the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

“We are able, the United States and China, to underscore our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” Kerry told reporters in Beijing.

“We agreed that this is critically important for the stability of the region and indeed for the world and for all of our nonproliferation efforts,” he said.

Yang said China’s stance on maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula was clear and consistent.

“We maintain that the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation. To properly address the Korea nuclear issue serves the common interests of all parties. It is also the shared responsibility of all parties,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“China will work with other relevant parties, including the United States, to play a constructive role in promoting the six-party talks and balanced implementation of the goals set out in the Sept. 19 joint statement of 2005,” he said.