Obama, China's Xi to meet on North Korea nuclear provocations

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the two sides are seeking to prevent Pyongyang from accessing nuclear material.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  March 24, 2016 at 9:34 AM
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BEIJING, March 24 (UPI) -- The United States and China are to discuss the North Korea nuclear issue in Washington, a Chinese diplomat said Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet March 31 to April 1 at a nuclear security summit – the first opportunity for them to discuss the January and February North Korea provocations, the South China Morning Post reported.

Beijing's Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said the issue of the North's January nuclear test and the February launch of a long-range rocket are to be raised at the summit – after weeks of U.S. calls to China to exert maximum pressure on Pyongyang, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

"On this issue, China's position is consistent. We are dedicated to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Li said.

"We think the problems should be solved through dialogue and consultation, and we are also dedicated to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula."

The two-day nuclear security summit is to cover hot topics like blocking terrorist access to nuclear or radioactive materials and best practices for nuclear security.

While it's not expected a solution will be reached during the summit, ways to prevent North Korea from gaining access to nuclear materials are to be discussed, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Xi and Obama are also expected to discuss cybersecurity during the Chinese president's visit.

Various sources have said Chinese hackers are responsible for debilitating attacks against U.S. government servers, but on Thursday Li said China has also been a victim of hacking, though he did not name the agent responsible for the attacks.

In September, Xi had said Beijing is to step up investigations into the area of cybercrime and theft.

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