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Defense

Kerry Pushes China, and China Pushes Back

The secretary of State said China would take additional steps on North Korea, but details are scarce.

Kerry is making his fifth trip to Asia.(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
February 14, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry pressed China on curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions during a meeting Friday, but Chinese officials said before the meeting they have played their "due role."

Kerry met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, where the two discussed North Korea, climate change, and recent tensions over the East China Sea.

"They made it very clear that if the North doesn't comply and come to the table and be serious about talks and stop its program ... they are prepared to take additional steps in order to make sure their policy is implemented," Kerry told reporters in Beijing after the meeting.

 

Asked about the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Xi discussed "China's stance" on North Korea, but didn't provide further details.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said ahead of the meeting that China has played its "due role" in curbing North Korea's program.

Experts told The Washington Post that China is unlikely to upset North Korea—a long-time ally—to push for a U.S.-led effort on denuclearization.

A State Department official said ahead of Kerry's trip that the secretary is hoping "to enlist greater and greater levels of Chinese cooperation in actually helping to achieve the goal of denuclearization, not just talking about it."

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