US urges China to press North Korea

Posted at 12/13/2012 8:22 AM | Updated as of 12/13/2012 12:15 PM

WASHINGTON- The United States on Wednesday asked China to exert its influence on North Korea after the impoverished nation carried out an apparently successful long-range rocket launch.

The United States raised North Korea's launch as Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, visited the Pentagon for annual defense talks between the Pacific powers.

Jim Miller, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told Qi that North Korea's launch was a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"He urged China to work with the United States and the international community to insist that North Korea live up to its commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors," it said.

China is considered the nation with the most influence over Pyongyang and US officials are scrutinizing its policy for any hints of change as Communist Party chief Xi Jinping gradually takes the reins of power.

China voiced regret over North Korea's launch and joined the rest of the UN Security Council in condemning the launch, which apparently set an object in orbit before the last of the rocket's three stages fell near the Philippines.

The Pentagon said the two nations also discussed security in the East China Sea and South China Sea, where China is locked in a series of bitter territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

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