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China Joins U.S. To End N. Korea Weapons Pursuit

China Joins U.S. To End N. Korea Weapons Pursuit

In an effort to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons campaign, China and the United States will be working together as rhetoric on the peninsula increases. Secretary of State John Kerry and China's foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi, spoke at Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guest House about curbing North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions.

"China is firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula," Yang said as translated by an interpreter. "The issue should be handled and resolved peacefully through dialogue."

"We agree that further discussion to bear down very quickly with great specificity on exactly on exactly how we will accomplish this goal," said Secretary of State John Kerry standing next to Yang.

China is the primary means of support for North Korea by providing fuel and food amounting to $1.3 billion in two-way first-quarter trade. While this is a small amount economically when compared to China's $63 billion in trade with South Korea, it is needed to maintain stability in the isolationist country. China can't afford to have North Korea collapse due to civil unrest or regime change as this could result in a mass exodus of refugees leading to further disruption in the region.

In recent months, North Korea has continued to isolate itself internationally by defying United Nation Security Council orders regarding nuclear testing in February and additional launching of missiles. The U.S. has made it clear that North Korea must cease it's nuclear weapons program and tone down the inflammatory rhetoric regarding South Korea.

"It's up to Kim Jong Un what he decides to do," Kerry said. "It's not going to change our position, which is very, very clear. We will defend our allies."

Image by: Patrick Rodwell