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US Lawmaker Confident China Will Help with North Korea


U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry says he is confident China will be "a constructive player" in international efforts to respond to North Korea's latest nuclear test. He spoke to reporters in Beijing Thursday, following a meeting with China's foreign minister.

John Kerry discussed possible United Nations Security Council action against North Korea when he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

"Foreign Minister Yang agreed with us that North Korea's actions are wrong and that there need to be consequences. And, China will support a, 'measured' response that is now being negotiated in New York," said Kerry.

No specifics on consequences

Kerry gave no details as to what specific consequences there should be. He says Foreign Minister Yang went from his meeting to a meeting with senior Chinese leaders, to discuss Beijing's position.

"I'm very confident, from what I heard, that the Chinese are going to be a very constructive player in trying to help advance our interests," the senator said. "And, personally, I think, as we see events unfold in the next days, my judgment is we'll find a way to get back to talks and hopefully productive negotiations."

No change in Beijing's response

China's response to Monday's North Korean nuclear test was very similar to comments it made following Pyongyang's first nuclear test in 2006.

When asked if this shows that Beijing's position has not changed, Kerry said he is firmly convinced the Chinese government does want to halt the spread of nuclear weapons in the region.

"China wants to work to get this done. I think China, as a neighbor and as someone who has had a lot of relationships with North Korea, has some legitimate opinions about what the best way is to proceed to achieve our goals. And, I think it's important for us to listen to China and work with China in that effort," he said.

Iran's ambitions

Kerry and Chinese leaders also discussed Iran. He says Chinese officials strongly support a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis. Kerry says they accept the possibility of sanctions, but they also are urging the United States to engage in dialogue with Iran, as soon as it is practical.

Kerry is wrapping up a trip to China that was focused on Sino-American efforts to combat climate change. His visit overlaps with that of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also is focusing on climate change during her China visit.

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