U.S., China to Hold Strategic Talks on North Korea

None

July 8, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

Seni­or U.S. and Chinese of­fi­cials are pre­par­ing to hold yearly bi­lat­er­al talks that will in­clude a fo­cus on the North Korea nuc­le­ar im­passe.

U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry will co-lead the U.S.-China Stra­tegic and Eco­nom­ic Dia­logue, which is to be­gin on Wed­nes­day in Beijing.

An uniden­ti­fied high-rank­ing Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial told journ­al­ists that “a steady con­ver­gence of views” was dis­cern­ible between China and the United States “on both the im­port­ance and the ur­gency of mov­ing North Korea to take ir­re­vers­ible steps to de­nuc­lear­ize,” Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

“Par­tic­u­larly in the week of [Chinese Pres­id­ent Xi Jin­ping’s] vis­it to Seoul, we see value in build­ing out U.S.-China co­oper­a­tion, strength­en­ing our con­sensus on the im­port­ance of de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion and re­fin­ing fur­ther our strategy,” the of­fi­cial said.

Chinese As­sist­ant For­eign Min­is­ter Zheng Ze­guang in a Monday press con­fer­ence in Beijing said his gov­ern­ment was work­ing “closely on the nuc­le­ar is­sues of the Korean Pen­in­sula” with Wash­ing­ton, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

Des­pite re­cent state­ments from Beijing and Wash­ing­ton hail­ing their close work­ing re­la­tion­ship on the North Korea ques­tion, dif­fer­ences re­main. The United States for years has de­man­ded that Py­ongy­ang make a demon­stra­tion of its will­ing­ness to per­man­ently shut down its nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gram be­fore mul­tina­tion­al aid-for-de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion ne­go­ti­ations are re­sumed. China, however, is un­der­stood to op­pose set­ting such pre­con­di­tions for talks to con­tin­ue.

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