US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Beijing today that the nuclear-armed North Korea poses an “overt threat, a declared threat to the world.” He was talking after meeting with his Chinese counterpart following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test earlier this month.
“The United States will do what is necessary to protect our country and our friends and allies in the world,” Kerry added at a joint press conference with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
China’s relation with North Korea strained in recent years as Beijing’s patience wears thin with Pyongyang’s unwillingness to rein in its nuclear weapons ambitions.
Though China is North Korea’s chief diplomatic protector and economic benefactor it said the country “firmly opposes” the North’s actions and summoned its diplomats for “solemn representations,” after Pyongyang claimed the testing of hydrogen bomb, a claim largely dismissed by experts.
Kerry said the two powers – both of them permanent members of the UN Security Council – had agreed to mount an “accelerated effort” to reach agreement on a new United Nations resolution on the issue. Earlier, as the two diplomats met, Wang welcomed the fact that Kerry’s trip had taken in a number of Asian countries; saying visiting them could help him understand the continent. “It can help you listen to voices more objectively,” Wang added.
Before today’s meeting, the official news agency Xinhua issued a commentary blaming the US’s “uncompromising hostility” and “Cold War mentality” for the situation on the Korean peninsula.