September 23, 2015 10:54
The U.S. and China are united in their opposition to North Korea arming itself with nuclear weapons and more powerful ballistic missiles, a senior Washington official said Monday.
"Neither the United States nor China will accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said, and the two countries are "united in demanding the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
She made the remark during an address at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. ahead of a summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"We firmly oppose North Korea's efforts to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that threaten regional stability and our respective national security interests," she added.
"This week's meetings between Presidents Obama and Xi will be another opportunity to discuss how we can sharpen Pyongyang's choices between having nuclear weapons and developing economically."
The U.S. sees Xi's visit as an opportunity to persuade China, "a fulcrum of influence" on North Korea, to play a more active role in getting the North to disarm.
China sees regional instability caused by the North as an obstacle on its way to expanding its influence beyond the region and competing with the U.S. Beijing under Xi has become more emphatic in urging the North to stop its nuclear and missile development programs.
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