U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in China Saturday to push the country’s top leaders to take a tougher stance on North Korea.
First stop was Beijing where Kerry held talks with his counterpart in China, Wang Yi, telling him the world was facing “a critical time with some very challenging issues,” the BBC reported.
“This is a critical moment,” Kerry said before the meeting, the New York Times reported.
He added that he hoped “two great powers, China and the United States, can work effectively to solve problems.”
On top of the Korean conflict, there was also “the challenge of Iran and nuclear weapons, Syria and the Middle East, and economies around the world that are in need of a boost,” Kerry said.
The U.S. hopes that China can increase its pressure on North Korea to back down and return to nuclear talks, the London Telegraph reported.
On Friday, Kerry was in South Korea where he met with President Park Geun-Hye and offered US support to her plans for initiating some trust-building with North Korea, AFP reported.
“China has an enormous ability to help make a difference here, and I hope that in our conversations when I get there that we’ll be able to lay out a path ahead that can defuse this tension,” he said.
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“There is no group of leaders on the face of the planet who have more capacity to make a difference in this than the Chinese, and everybody knows it, including, I believe, them,” he said.
CNN wrote that an unnamed official said Friday the U.S. wants China to “stop the money trail into North Korea” and to tell the North that de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula is China’s goal.
Kerry was scheduled to meet Saturday afternoon with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi.
He will head to Tokyo tomorrow.
This article originally was published at Global Post.