U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington and Beijing agreed on "important urgency" of swiftly curbing North Korea's nuclear weapons program, adding that they discussed "specific ways" to advance the goal of denuclearizing North Korea.
"The United States and China agreed on an important urgency of achieving a denuclearized, stable and prosperous Korean Peninsula, and we discussed specific ways in which we think can advance that goal," Kerry told reporters as the two nations ended a two-day U.S.-China dialogue in Beijing.
North Korea is one of the topics that were discussed at the sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, along with a broad range of diplomatic, economic and international issues concerning the two countries.
"China shares the same strategic goal, and we discussed the importance of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions on North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile program," Kerry said.
However, Kerry said China needs to do more in reining in its unruly ally North Korea.
Kerry said China must play its "unique role" in persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.
"We both understand that there's more we can do in order to bring North Korea into compliance with its obligations to denuclearize," Kerry said.
China's top foreign-policy maker, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, said Washington and Beijing affirmed the "importance of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through consultations."
North Korea, which has conducted three nuclear tests since 2006 and threatened to conduct a "new form of nuclear test," has repeatedly expressed willingness to reopen the six-party talks "without preconditions."
Although South Korea and the U.S. have called on China to play a greater role in leading North Korea to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearize before any resumption of the nuclear talks, Beijing's efforts have still been more accommodating toward North Korea.
As China has bolstered its military along with its fast-growing economic clout, Washington and Beijing have grappled over a range of issues, including cyber espionage, human rights and trade disputes.
China has been locked in bitter territorial disputes with allies of the U.S., including Japan and the Philippines, in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. At the same time, the U.S.
has been engaging in what is called a "Pivot to Asia," a shift in U.S. foreign policy focus to the East and South Asian regions.
Further complicating U.S.-China relations, a U.S. federal grand jury indicted five Chinese officials in May this year for allegedly hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets. China, which denies the charges, suspended a U.S.-China working group on cyber issues in response.
During the joint closing session, Kerry said China's cyber espionage activities "have harmed our business and threatened our nation's competitiveness."
The loss of intellectual property through cyber hacking has a "chilling effect on innovation and investment," Kerry said.
At a meeting with U.S. and Chinese business leaders earlier in the day, Kerry also stressed the need to protect intellectual property.
"We need to make sure we're protecting intellectual property rights, make sure we're creating transparency in the regulatory process, make sure that we are raising the bar for everybody in a sense, in terms of the standards by which we do business," Kerry said. (Yonhap)