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China says pressure, talks both key to dealing with N. Korea: Japan

China believes pressure and dialogue are both important in dealing with North Korea, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Thursday, according to a Japanese official.

 

Wang’s remark contrasted with a call from Japan, the United States and South Korea for “maximum pressure” to be applied to North Korea to compel it to give up its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

 

Meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Wang told Kono that China has been fulfilling its international obligations by fully enforcing U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions on North Korea, the official said.

 

“Alongside pressure, dialogue is important,” Wang was quoted as saying with regard to addressing the North Korean nuclear issue.

 

Kono stressed the international community as a whole must apply “an unprecedented and new level of pressure” on Pyongyang, a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the annual gathering of leaders at the world body that past attempts at dialogue with the North “have all come to naught.”

 

Without referring to them by name, Abe criticized countries such as China and Russia that have advocated for direct talks with North Korea to get it to denuclearize.

 

Nonetheless, Kono and Wang reaffirmed that Tokyo and Beijing shared the common goal of ridding Pyongyang of nuclear weapons, according to the Japanese official.

 

With this year marking the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Asia’s two biggest economies, Kono expressed willingness to visit China at an early date, the official said.

 

Wang said he “welcomes” such an initiative and officials from the two governments will arrange the proposed trip.

 

Kono and Wang also agreed to coordinate on holding a trilateral summit with South Korea in Japan by the end of the year, according to the official.

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