By BRADLEY KLAPPER
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, poses with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Saturday, April 13, 2013. The question of how Washington can persuade Beijing to exert real pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s unpredictable regime is front and center as Kerry meets Saturday with Chinese leaders in Beijing. (AP Photo/Yohsuke Mizuno, Pool)
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. and Chinese leaders said Saturday that their countries are committed to finding a peaceful way to ensure a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
“We are determined to make that goal a reality,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks with Chinese officials and before having dinner with China’s foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi.
“China and the United States must together take steps in order to achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula. And today we agreed that further discussions to bear down very quickly with great specificity on exactly how we will accomplish this goal,” America’s top diplomat told reporters.
Yang, speaking through an interpreter, said China was “firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula. We maintain that the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully.”
He said China will work with the U.S. and other nations involved in past international talks on North Korea, adding that “to properly address the Korean nuclear issue serves the interests of all parties.”
Kerry spoke of “our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner. We agreed that this is of critical importance for the stability of the region and indeed for the world and indeed for all of our nonproliferation efforts.”