U.S., China agree on North Korea denuclearization push

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 13, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Yohsuke Mizuno/Pool

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 13, 2013.
Credit: REUTERS/Yohsuke Mizuno/Pool

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By Arshad Mohammed and Ben Blanchard

BEIJING | Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:37am EDT

(Reuters) - The United States and China agreed on Saturday to make a joint effort to push for the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, following weeks of bellicose rhetoric from North Korea and rising tensions in northeast Asia.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met China's top leaders in a bid to persuade them to exert pressure on North Korea, whose main diplomatic supporter is Beijing, to scale back its belligerence and, eventually, return to nuclear talks.

Before travelling to Beijing for the first time as secretary of state, Kerry had made no secret of his desire to see China take a more active stance towards North Korea, which in recent weeks has threatened nuclear war against the United States and South Korea.

(Additional reporting byTerril Tue Jones, and Ron Popeski in SEOUL; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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