The U.S. and China agreed to continue to pressure North Korea in the pursuit of realizing the “final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK”, the U.S. Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press release on Monday.
The statement comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and the Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiech in Beijing on the same day, with the press release issued by the State Department referencing the contents of the bilateral talks specifically.
“The two sides reaffirmed their shared resolve to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore,” the statement read.
“The United States and China remain unified on our pressure campaign, and are committed to a bright future for the DPRK if Pyongyang denuclearizes quickly.”
Since October 6, Pompeo has been conducting a short tour of East Asia, for which the primary purpose was to continue negotiations with the DPRK in Pyongyang.
After arriving in Japan on October 6, Pompeo traveled to North Korea and met with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to further discussions on denuclearization and a potential second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Pompeo subsequently traveled to Seoul and held talks with ROK President Moon Jae-in and foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha before traveling to Beijing.
The statement attributed to Nauert on Monday is similar to earlier remarks issued by the State Department following Pompeo’s conversations with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to visiting the DPRK.
“They reaffirmed our commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, and agreed that pressure must continue until the DPRK denuclearizes,” a press release issued on October 6 read.
While an October 7 press release following Pompeo’s meeting with Kang also reaffirmed a commitment to final, fully verified denuclearization, it did not reference ongoing pressure directly.
The purported U.S.-China bilateral agreement to continue to pressure the DPRK stands in contrast to China’s proposal at the UN Security Council (UNSC) last month that sanctions be re-evaluated in light of ongoing diplomatic engagement by North Korea in 2018.
Multiple data points throughout 2018 also indicate potential gaps in China’s enforcement of sanctions against North Korea.
China, along with Russia, also recently blocked the U.S.’s call for the suspension of all oil transfers to the DPRK in light of evidence that the country had exceeded a UNSC cap on imports of petroleum products for 2018.
Featured image: U.S. Department of State
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