Chinese state media has announced an agreement with the USA that efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsular should be “complete, verifiable and irreversible”.
A report by the Xinhua news agency on talks in Washington this week said: “Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that the US had urged China to increase economic and political pressure on North Korea, during his meeting with Chinese diplomats and defence chiefs.
China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui met Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis during the talks. Yang later met President Trump in the White House, where they also discussed North Korea.
A ‘consensus document’ also highlighted the need to “fully and strictly hold to UN Security Council resolutions and push for dialogue and negotiation”.
The document also said military-to-military exchanges should be upgraded and mechanisms put in place to cut the risks of “judgement errors” between Chinese and US military forces.
Xinhua described the talks, the first of their kind with the Trump administration, as an “upgrade in dialogue mechanisms” between China and the US, following on from President Xi Jiping’s April meeting with Trump in Florida.
The two leaders are expected to meet again in Hamburg, Germany, during next month’s G20 Summit.
The death of American university student Otto Warmbier this week, following his release in a comatose state after 17 months of imprisonment, has further complicated the North Korean issue.
China, the secretive state’s main trading partner, has been accused of not fully enforcing UN sanctions, and has blocked some tougher measures.
Washington has considered further “secondary sanctions” against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with North Korea, which China opposes.