Politics

China Tells John Kerry It is ‘Committed to Upholding Peace’ When It Comes to North Korea

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Secretary of State John Kerry met with leaders in Beijing Saturday where Chinese officials promised to calm Pyongyang’s provocations. 

Kerry gave opening remarks at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

"Mr. President, this is obviously a critical time with some very challenging issues -- issues on the Korean peninsula, the challenge of Iran and nuclear weapons, Syria and the Middle East, and economies around the world that are in need of a boost," Kerry said.

Kerry told Chinese officials the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program is the "shared responsibility of all parties.”

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Chinese Premier Li Kequiang and Chinese State Councilor Yang told Kerry they intend to work together towards a denuclearized North Korea.

China's position is "consistent and clear cut," Yang said. "China is firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the peninsula."

Kerry said Beijing and international partners will work to restart six-party talks regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, holding it to the international agreements.

"We are committed to taking actions in order to make good on that goal. And we are determined to make that goal a reality," Kerry said.

War rhetoric from Pyongyang, which is expected to launch a missile on April 15th,the anniversary of their founder’s death, has be escalating since March.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped the two nations could work together with "mutual respect” to handle these issues. During Kerry’s visit, he insists is working to define a common ground with China. "We have a common interest in putting an end to North Korean proliferation," a senior administration official said. "In stopping the highly destabilizing behavior and the provocative actions of the North Koreans."

Travelling to South Korea, Kerry said on Friday the only way the U.S. will proceed with discussions with North Korea is if it is forthcoming about its nuclear program. "North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power," Kerry said in Seoul.

Sources: CNN, BBC News