US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to fully implement sanctions against North Korea, according to the White House.
The two presidents met on Friday on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, shortly after North Korea reportedly fired another ballistic missile off its east coast.
The White House said in a statement on Friday that Obama and Xi agreed to “to strengthen coordination in addressing the shared threat presented by North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile systems.”
The statement added, “Both leaders affirmed their commitment to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270,” which was passed on March 2 in response to a nuclear test North Korea conducted in January, followed by a missile test in February.
On Thursday, Obama met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.
“We are united in our efforts to deter and defend against North Korean provocations,” Obama said with Shinzo and Park at his side.
“We have to work together to meet this challenge and we also recognize that it is important to the entire international community to vigilantly enforce the strong UN Security Council measures,” he added.
The US president added that trilateral security cooperation is essential to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Last month, Obama signed a new executive order that tightens the US trade embargo on North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests.
The Obama administration said on March 16 the new measures block any US trade with the North Korean government and any entities in the country engaged in finance, transportation, mining and energy.
Washington’s unilateral measures follow a series of tough sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Pyongyang earlier last month.
North Korea has been at odds with the South since the end of the Korean War of the early 1950s. An armistice ended all military hostilities between the two Koreas back then, but no peace deal ever ensued, meaning that, while the two countries are not at war, they are not at peace, either.
In the tensions that emerge too frequently, the US has been taking South Korea’s side. Washington says Pyongyang is after developing long-range missiles that can carry nuclear warheads and can reach the US.
North Korea says its adversaries, including the US, seek to bring the regime in Pyongyang down, and it is thus strengthening itself against hostile countries.