Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday said he is against North Korea having nuclear weapons and firmly opposes any more nuclear tests, a senior government official here said.
Xi made the remarks when he met President Park Geun-hye in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of the APEC summit. It was already their third meeting this year.
Xi pledged that China will "strictly abide by UN Security Council resolutions" against North Korea. "We need to prevent a repeat of the vicious cycle related to the North Korean nuclear issue," he added.
He also called for an early resumption of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks "as it's impossible to resolve" the issue "through the use of force."
Park called on Xi to try to persuade the North to give up on nuclear weapons and focus instead on economic development.
The North Korean regime cannot afford to "concentrate all its energy on developing nuclear weapons" in view of reports that many North Koreans are suffering from chronic malnutrition, she said.
"The North needs to stop enhancing its nuclear capabilities. We're grateful to China for cooperating with us," she added.
Park also expressed support for a Chinese export ban to North Korea of goods that could be used in making nuclear weapons and materials.
"Our fundamental view is that the North should be denuclearized in a way that is helpful to achieving substantial progress," she said. "It's important to realize the complete and verifiable denuclearization as early as possible."
But she differed from Xi over the six-party talks, saying the North must first take concrete steps to end its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, the two leaders hailed the first phase of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement as a success. Xi called for "balanced negotiations at a higher level," and Park urged "cooperation" so the second phase can be wrapped up quickly.