12:41 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Magazines featuring front pages of US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping (R) are displayed at a news stand in Beijing

    China, US to Work Toward 'Complete, Verifiable' Denuclearization of North Korea

    © AFP 2019 / NICOLAS ASFOURI
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    China and the United States, often at odds as to how to handle the regime of Kim Jong-un, have agreed that denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula should be “complete, verifiable and irreversible.”

    High level talks in Washington this week resulted in the two sides reaffirming that they will pursue the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," according to a consensus document released by the Xinhua news agency.

    The document emphasized the need to fully adhere to UN Security Council resolutions and push for dialogue and negotiation. The statement also said it is necessary to upgrade military-to-military exchanges and establish mechanisms of notification in order to avoid the risks of "judgement errors" between the Chinese and US militaries.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that China had been ineffective so far in its efforts to use its leverage with Pyongyang. China's Foreign Ministry responded by saying that China has played an important role in seeking peace in the region and shouldn't be regarded as the crux of the issue.

    But the sides have reportedly agreed on a path forward after talks involving top Chinese and US officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and China's Foreign Policy Chief Yang Jiechi.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday at a press conference that China is in agreement with the US for the denuclearization of the peninsula and called on the North to "halt its illegal nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missile tests."

    On June 22, Trump reportedly asked Jiechi to send his regards to China's President Xi Jinping, adding that he hopes to see Xi again in Hamburg during the G20 Summit next month. Yang in turn expressed his gratitude to Trump for the US' participation in last month's summit for international cooperation on China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

    Being North Korea's main trading partner, China has long been accused of not fully enforcing existing UN sanctions on its neighbour. During the talks, the US urged China to exercise more pressure on the North Korean regime.     

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    Tags:
    talks, denuclearization, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, United States
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