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China's Xi Jinping doesn't rule out dialogue with North Korea

By Elizabeth Shim
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Xi told Obama and South Korea's Park Geun-hye that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/bfbb6e0d8f03b4453d2f18fceb94ebdf/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Xi told Obama and South Korea's Park Geun-hye that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean leader Park Geun-hye that Beijing is determined to see denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but did not rule out the resumption of dialogue with Pyongyang.

Xi, who was attending a biennial nuclear security summit in Washington, D.C., told Park his government would actively step up pressure against North Korea, South Korean news network MBN reported.

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The summit between the leaders of China and South Korea, which ran over an hour, was mostly devoted to talks on curbing North Korean provocations, according to South Korea press.

The two sides agreed that pressure on Pyongyang must increase, and Xi said China would take measures to fully implement the United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution adopted in March.

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But the summit also covered hot-button issues on which Seoul and Beijing hold different views.

Park has stayed away from reopening dialogue in the wake of North Korea's increased provocations. Angry rhetoric from Pyongyang threatening to assassinate Park and turn Seoul into "powder," as well as continued firing of short-range projectiles has placed South Korean on alert, and has made reconciliation less likely.

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But Xi told Park efforts to denuclearize the North must come through dialogue and did not rule out restarting the six-party talks.

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"We will make constructive efforts to promote dialogue within the six-party talks framework," Xi said, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Xi and Park also exchanged views on the deployment of U.S. anti-missile defense system THAAD and a South Korean official told press Xi expressed his opposition to the deployment.

Obama has said China and the United States have common interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and other U.S. officials have said THAAD would be deployed after negotiations with China.

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