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US calls on China to encourage N. Korea's return to diplomacy

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 3, 2023 - 09:11

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WASHINGTON -- The United States has called on China to use its influence to encourage North Korea to take steps for de-escalation and return to diplomacy, the State Department said Monday.

Spokesperson Matthew Miller made the remarks amid expectations that an anticipated summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing this month would lead to a strengthening of cooperation between the two countries and North Korea.

"One of the things that we have urged in our conversations with Chinese officials -- something Secretary Blinken urged and other officials have urged -- is that China is uniquely positioned to use its influence with the DPRK to urge the DPRK to take de-escalatory steps and to urge the DPRK to return to diplomacy," he told a press briefing.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We will continue to encourage them to use that influence to any degree that is possible that they are willing to do," he added.

Xi and Putin are expected to meet on the margins of an international forum on the Belt and Road initiative, a massive China-led infrastructure project, this month, after Putin met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a Russian spaceport on Sept. 13.

The anticipated meeting would come as the US has been strengthening trilateral security cooperation with its core Asian allies of South Korea and Japan in the midst of North Korea's evolving military threats, China's growing assertiveness and Russia's war in Ukraine.

Miller reiterated Washington's worries about deepening cooperation between Russia and the North.

"We continue to be concerned about increased ties between Russia and North Korea, especially when it comes to any potential transfer of weapons either from the DPRK to Russia or from Russia to the DPRK," he said. (Yonhap)