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Obama, Xi agree to 'complete' denuclearization of N. Korea

.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed their commitment to a "complete denuclearization" of North Korea, saying that the North's defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons will not succeed. 

"President Xi and I reaffirmed the commitment of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we agreed that North Korea will not succeed in pursuing nuclear weapons and economic development," Obama told reporters during a press conference with Xi after their two-day bilateral summit in Beijing. 

Xi repeated China's stance that nations should make joint efforts to resume long-stalled six-party talks at an early date.

"China is firmly committed to achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Xi said. 

"We maintained that we should address the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation," Xi said. "Relevant parties should have active contacts and dialogues so as to create conditions for an early resumption of the six-party talks."

Days before Obama and Xi met, North Korea released two American citizens, but Obama told reporters in Beijing this week that the release is no solution to the "core problem" of the North's nuclear program. 

The U.S. and China, North Korea's last-remaining patron, have remained far apart over how to resume the long-stalled multilateral talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. 

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 with the North can take place, but China's efforts have still been seen as more accommodating toward North Korea.

   During the news conference at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, Obama and Xi said they have agreed to develop two major confidence-building measures for the military and to promote communication on combating against terrorism.

   The summit comes amid growing friction between the U.S. and China at a time when Washington is renewing its commitment to its much-touted "pivot" to Asia, while Beijing is seeking to bolster its economic and military clout in the region.

   The U.S. and China have been also at odds over a series of thorny issues, such as the pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong, territorial disputes surrounding the South and East China Seas and allegations of Chinese hacking into American businesses.

On the surface at least, Obama and Xi appeared to highlight agreements from their two-day summit. 

Besides the military confidence-building measures, Obama and Xi announced targets to cut greenhouse gas, in a historic accord by the world's two biggest polluters. 

Obama called the greenhouse-gas targets "a major milestone in the U.S. China relationship.

Still, Obama and Xi looked to show disagreements in some thorny issues, particularly for Hong Kong, human rights and freedom of expression. 

"I believe that President Xi and I have a common understanding on how the relationship between our two countries should move forward," Obama said. "Where we have disagreements, we will be candid about our intentions, and we will work to narrow those differences where possible." (Yonhap)