U.S., China discuss Korean security issues

April 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department is committed to working with Chinese officials on securing the Korean Peninsula, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

Little provided a readout of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's phone conversation with Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Chang Wanquan.

China, one of North Korea's few regional allies, called for calm as tensions between the United States and North Korea intensify.

North Korea described a February underground nuclear test as part of a campaign against the United States. The U.S. government said it's seen few indications that North Korea was actually preparing for war, however.

Hagel said both governments were keen on addressing security issues on the Korean Peninsula.

"The secretary emphasized the growing threat to the U.S. and our allies posed by North Korea's aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and expressed to General Chang the importance of sustained U.S.-China dialogue and cooperation on these issues," Little said in a statement.

The U.S. military deployed the stealth B-2 bomber near North Korea last week.

North Korea has severed most official ties to South Korea. The Yonhap news agency reports that North Korea opted Wednesday to stop South Korean workers from entering an industrial complex just north of the demilitarized zone separating the countries.

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