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U.S., China to forge cooperation on N. Korea, other hotspot issues

2015/09/16 16:22

BEIJING, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- The United States and China will step up cooperation in addressing regional hotspot issues, including North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday, ahead of a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the U.S.

Washington and Beijing remain at odds over a range of issues, such as China's increasingly assertive actions in the South China Sea, cyber hacking and human rights, but they have sounded upbeat on efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions.

U.S. President Barack Obama will offer Xi a state welcome at the White House on Sept. 25, both U.S. and Chinese officials said.

"The two sides will step up cooperation in regional security issues, including the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the Afghan issue and other regional hotspot issues," Wang said in his statement on Xi's upcoming visit to the U.S.

Wang, however, did not elaborate further.

"The upcoming visit by President Xi will take China-U.S. cooperation to a new level," Wang said.

Ahead of a key national anniversary on Oct. 10, North Korea has hinted that it may launch a long-range rocket next month, which has been condemned by the U.N. as a disguised ballistic missile test.

North Korea also confirmed that it has restarted operations of all facilities at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, including a uranium enrichment plant and a 5-megawatt reactor that would allow the North to expand its stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium.

kdh@yna.co.kr

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