The United States and China say they want the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, but they have not agreed on new actions after North Korea’s recent nuclear test.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Wednesday in Beijing.
After the meeting, Wang said his country was preparing to support a new United Nations resolution against North Korea’s nuclear program. But he did not identify any specific punishment. And he said the resolution should not fuel new tensions.
Tensions in East Asia rose after North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb underground on January 6.
Kerry said agreement needs to be reached on a strong U.N. resolution.
The U.S. is reportedly a supporter of stronger international sanctions. This could include a ban on exports of oil to North Korea and imports of minerals from the North.
Wang and Kerry also discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea. But there was no discussion of any agreement on steps to reduce tension in the sea. China and others in Asia have competing claims to islands in the waterway. They include Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.
China was the last stop during Kerry’s three-nation trip to Asia. Other stops included Laos and Cambodia, where human rights and trade issues were discussed.
I’m Jim Dresbach.
VOA’s Pam Dockins and Brian Padden reported on this story. Youmi Kim in Seoul also provided information for this report. Jim Dresbach adapted the story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
peninsula – n. a piece of land that is almost completely surrounded by water and is connected to a larger land area
penalties – n. punishments for violating a rule or law
sanction – n. an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country
specific – adj. exact or detailed