Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bush Meets Chinese, Russian Presidents in Hanoi

President Bush is seeking support from China and Russia for a tough stand on North Korea's nuclear ambitions. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports from Hanoi, where Mr. Bush met with leaders of both countries on the final day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

President Bush had a full agenda for his meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday. But it was clear, North Korea's nuclear program was at the top of the list.

The APEC summit in Hanoi has given Mr. Bush the opportunity to meet individually, within a relatively short span of time, with the leaders of all four of the other countries engaged in the six-party disarmament talks with North Korea.

Saturday, the president met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

The goal is to push North Korea for real progress in the three-year-old talks at the next session, which has yet to be scheduled.

Pyongyang has just agreed to resume negotiations after a year-long boycott, but only after conducting its first-ever nuclear test in October and getting slapped with United Nations sanctions.

President Bush has been firm in demanding strong action in the face of North Korea's defiance of international demands to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

China, North Korea's biggest patron, has been hosting the disarmament talks, and is considered to hold the most sway with Pyongyang.

As he sat down in Hanoi with President Hu, Mr. Bush spoke of the joint resolve of China and the United States to tackle tough problems like ensuring a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

"China is a very important nation, and the United States believes that, by working together, we can help solve problems, such as North Korea and Iran," said Mr. Bush.

The Chinese leader made no reference to global nuclear issues, and instead focused on areas of bilateral cooperation.

Mr. Hu says that U.S.-China relations are undergoing a stable positive expansion. He cited improvement in America's balance of trade with Beijing and increased cooperation between the American and Chinese navies.