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Trump Urges Chinese President to Work 'Hard' on North Korea

Trump Urges Chinese President to Work 'Hard' on North Korea

Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 08:45
US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping make joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. Reuters photo

US President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that "time is quickly running out,” urging Chinese leader Xi Jinping to work hard and act fast to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Xi hosted Trump at the imposing Great Hall of the People, next to Tiananmen Square, for the main event of the US president's five-nation tour of Asia.

While the two leaders exchanged pleasantries in keeping with their professed friendship -- with Trump calling Xi a "very special man" -- the US president made clear that he expected China to do more to rein in North Korea.

"We must act fast. And hopefully China will act faster and more effectively on this problem than anyone," Trump said, while thanking Xi for his efforts to restrict trade with Pyongyang.

"China can fix this problem easily and quickly, and I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard," the US leader said.

"I know one thing about your president: If he works on it hard, it will happen. There's no doubt about it."

The US administration thinks China's economic leverage over North Korea is the key to strong-arming Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Xi said the two countries reiterated their "firm commitment" to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the implementation of UN resolutions. 

He also repeated his plea for the issue to be resolved through negotiations, saying China was ready to discuss the "pathway leading to enduring peace and stability on the peninsula.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that there is "no disagreement" between Trump and Xi over Pyongyang.

Xi shared with Trump specific actions that China is taking to enforce sanctions against North Korea, such as restrictions on bank accounts, Tillerson told reporters in Beijing.

Both leaders will not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, he added.

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