WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Tuesday about U.S.-China relations and the possible role China can play in deterring North Korea from its nuclear program.
Speaking at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, Kerry applauded China's efforts so far with the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations, expressing hope that similar collaboration "will ultimately bring North Korea to the realization that its current approach is leading a dead end, and the only path that will bring it security and prosperity is to make real progress towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula."
A week ahead of a planned trip to Beijing, Kerry told the Charlie Rose Show in an interview Oct. 31 that "the Chinese are being helpful" with regard to North Korea.
"When I went to visit last spring," Kerry said that U.S. and Chinese officials "engaged in a discussion where they agreed to step up their efforts with the North, and they have." In the past year, Kerry noted "They've taken measures way beyond where they were... They've actually reduced the amount of jet fuel going into the country. They've put limitations on trade going into the country," and have met five or six times with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
On the same day that Kerry expressed hope that North Korea will realize it is on a "dead end," Pyongyang issued its own admonishment of the U.S.
"It is self-evident that one party cannot discuss its unilateral disarming with the rival party keen to bring it down at any cost," North Korea Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
In apparent reaction to Pyongyang's belief that the U.S. is behind a European Union-led proposed draft U.N. resolution to recommend North Korea to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations, the ministry asserted: "The DPRK (North Korea) keeps the door of dialogue on genuine human rights open to the countries that respect its sovereignty but it will never allow any human rights dialogue or nuclear one with the enemy keen to overthrow it."
The U.S. and U.N. are separately planning to send special envoys focused on North Korean human rights issues to South Korea next week for consultations.