U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on Wednesday on the need for a significant new U.N. Security resolution targeting North Korea after its Jan. 6 nuclear test, though there were few signs of concrete progress.
Kerry, on a two-day visit to Beijing, had been expected to press China, North Korea's lone major backer, for more curbs on Pyongyang after it said it had successfully conducted a test of a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device, though the United States has voiced skepticism as to whether it was that powerful.
China has insisted it is already making great efforts to achieve denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and Wang rejected any "groundless speculation" on its North Korea stance, following remarks from U.S. officials that China could do more.
"We agreed that the U.N. Security Council needs to take further action and pass a new resolution," Wang told reporters at a joint briefing with Kerry.
"In the meantime, we must point out that the new resolution should not provoke new tensions."
Kerry said the two sides had agreed to an "accelerated effort" at the U.N. to reach a "strong resolution that introduces significant new measures" to curtail North Korea's ability to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"It's not enough to agree on the goal, we believe we need to agree on the meaningful steps necessary to get the achievement of the goal," Kerry said.