News / Asia

Kerry in China to Discuss North Korean Challenge

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) talks with China's Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing, April 13, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) talks with China's Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing, April 13, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that now is a "critical time" as the two men discuss North Korea's nuclear program and other issues.

Kerry is meeting with President Xi in Beijing Saturday, as North Korea's East Asian neighbors wait to see if Pyongyang will do as it has threatened and test a nuclear missile.

Kerry has been urging Chinese officials to use their influence as North Korea's strongest ally to influence Pyongyang to back off of its threats.

Kerry also noted that other challenges face China and its neighbors: Iran, nuclear weapons, upheaval in Syria, and economies around the world that need a boost.

In a recent speech, President Xi said - without explicitly naming North Korea - "no country should be allowed to throw a whole region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain."

Officials have warned a missile test could happen at any time. South Korea says a test could occur as North Korea prepares to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the birth of it's founding leader, Kim Il Sung, on Monday.

Kerry said the U.S. Defense Department is working on the assumption that North Korea is not yet able to place a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, despite a U.S. intelligence report suggesting that it does have that capability.

This is Kerry's first visit to the region since becoming secretary of state, but the broader issues he hoped to address have been overshadowed by the North Korean threats.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday he backs the idea of Switzerland hosting a fresh round of six-nation talks on North Korea's atomic program.

North Korea abandoned the talks in 2009 to protest international condemnation of its long-range missile tests. The United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea are involved in negotiations with Pyongyang on closing its nuclear program in exchange for aid and energy.

North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests. The latest, in February, used what the North said was a "smaller and lighter" device. Late last year, it succeeded in using a long-range missile to place a satellite into orbit.

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Comment Sorting
by: kanaikaalirumporai
April 13, 2013 11:14 AM
Even if Korea gives up the nuclear capability, The Free Masons and their allies will not let the Koreans live peacefuly. So, only thing that would bring about peace is to include them in the nuclear club.

by: Ciaran Mulcahy. from: Dublin, Ireland.
April 13, 2013 10:34 AM
On an edition of N.P.R's., 'All Things Considered (probably the edition of Friday, 5th., of April, 2013,)', a person, who I believe had been a U.S. Ambassador to the D.P.R. of Korea, expressed the opinion, that despite the risks in taking such a decision, he felt, that it would be worth it for the sake of peace, for President Obama to meet the President of the D.P.R. of Korea (a meeting of the two leaders (according to the interviewee) had, already been requested by the leader of the leader of the D.P.R. of Korea.

N.P.R's., guest, in the interview, felt, that such a meeting would be '...worth the risk, for the cause of peace...'.

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