Washington, April 1: US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to fully implement sanctions against North Korea, in a meeting that was promptly followed by a provocative Pyongyang missile launch.
The White House said today that Obama and Xi agreed to “narrow differences” between the world’s two major powers during a meeting the day before. Also Read - From Rasam to Malabar Lobster at Dinner, to Walks Around Heritage Town | Know All on Day 1 of Modi-Xi Summit in Mahabalipuram
“Both leaders committed… To strengthen coordination in addressing the shared threat presented by North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile systems,” the White House said. Also Read - Chinese President Xi Jinping Awarded Kyrgyzstan's Highest Honour
“Both leaders affirmed their commitment to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270.” Also Read - US, China 'Very, Very Close' to Signing Trade Pact, Says US President Donald Trump at 2019 White House Business Session
In January, North Korea detonated a nuclear device and a month later launched a long-range rocket, prompting the United States, China and other UN partners to implement sanctions.Washington’s efforts to build pressure on North Korea has long been a point of friction with Beijing, which provides the hermit state an economic lifeline.(ALSO READ:Barrack Obama, Xi Jinping to meet at nuclear summit, to discuss South China Sea tensions).
The White House believes that China could do more to press North Korea into abandoning its nuclear and missile programs.
China fears that too much pressure would topple the regime, prompting instability and regional upheaval.As if to underscore the difficult of the issue, North Korea yesterday appeared to fire another short-range missile off its east coast.
South Korea’s defence ministry said a surface-to-air missile was fired at around 12:45 pm loacl time from the eastern city of Sondok. The range and precise trajectory could not immediately be confirmed, a ministry official said.
The launch came in the middle of the two-day nuclear security summit being hosted by Obama in Washington, at which North Korea has been the focus of the US president’s talks with the leaders of China, South Korea and Japan.
The summit opened yesterday with Obama trying to forge consensus among East Asian leaders on how to respond to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and missile tests, which have seen an escalation of tensions in the region.
“We are united in our efforts to deter and defend against North Korean provocations,” Obama said after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
The leaders also discussed the deployment of the sophisticated missile system THAAD — the Theater High Altitude Area Defense System — to South Korea.
But the move has raised concerns in Beijing, which is unhappy at the prospect of the US hardware on its doorstep, fearing it will further tip the balance of power in the Pacific towards Washington.