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Kerry, Rice Confer With Senior Chinese Official in New York

FILE - U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi shake hands at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, July 25, 2016. Rice, Yang and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry conferred Tuesday in New York on bilateral ties.

U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, agreeing to manage bilateral differences constructively and expand cooperation on regional and global challenges.

The White House issued a brief statement saying the three met in New York to review the progress of China and the United States in "bringing about a more durable, stable and productive bilateral relationship."

"To this end, they committed to manage differences constructively and to expand practical cooperation on regional and global challenges," said the White House statement, which offered no further details on the talks.

The meeting coincided with a Fox Business Network report that cited two unidentified U.S. officials as saying North Korea is preparing to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the next three days.

The launch would be the latest in a series by Pyongyang this year in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban all ballistic-missile related activities by the North. North Korea provoked international condemnation with its largest-ever nuclear test on September 9, including from China, its main ally.

'Significant steps'

President Barack Obama said following the nuclear test that he would work with other countries to seek additional "significant steps, including new sanctions," against North Korea to demonstrate that there are consequences to its nuclear activities.

The United States and China have been negotiating a new draft Security Council resolution to punish Pyongyang. In March, the 15-member Security Council imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea following its fourth nuclear test in January.

Beijing fears strengthening sanctions could lead to collapse in North Korea, sending a flood of refugees across the relatively porous border into China, and it also believes the United States and its ally South Korea share responsibility for growing tension in the region.

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