White House: Xi, Trump pledge 'maximum pressure' on North Korea

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Sept. 18, 2017 at 4:03 PM
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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone Monday, and pledged to "maximize pressure" on North Korea following Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test.

According to a statement from the White House, North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations are being carried out in "defiance of the international community" and are destabilizing Northeast Asia.

"The two leaders committed to maximizing pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions," the brief statement read.

Trump is in New York this week and is expected to address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

Beijing's state-owned news agency Xinhua reported Xi spoke to Trump about the "current situation on the Korean peninsula" while neither condemning North Korea nor mentioning the regime by name.

Xinhua's report, released immediately after the exchange, also placed less emphasis on Korean affairs and highlighted instead Trump's planned visit to Beijing in November.

"Beijing attaches great importance to Trump's state visit to China, and [Xi] called on both sides to work closely so as to ensure a fruitful trip and inject new impetus into the development of China-U.S. relations," Xinhua stated.

Xi, who has previously urged for U.S. "calm" in response to North Korea's ballistic missile threats, is not expected to be attending the U.N. assembly this week.

North Korea may be at the top of Trump's agenda at the U.N., following the detonation of what some experts believe is a 250-kiloton bomb at the nuclear site in Punggye-ri.

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