BEIJING: US defence officials were set for talks in China on Tuesday in which they will seek Beijing’s support for world pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
The US military delegation, led by Michele Flournoy, undersecretary for defence, was to meet with officials from the Chinese defence ministry as part of the two-day talks.
“North Korea will factor in very strongly,” a Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters in Washington over the weekend.
Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and missile launches have raised “great concern” in China, he said.
“We would hope that China would use whatever influence they have with North Korea to convince them to change their behaviour,” the official said.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on June 12 that includes financial sanctions on North Korea after Pyongyang carried out its second nuclear test last month and several missile launches.
North Korea has reacted defiantly to the latest sanctions, vowing to build more nuclear bombs.
Flournoy will also seek to promote better US-China defense cooperation amid concerns in Washington over Beijing’s expanding military and a series of stand-offs on the high seas.
Washington would like to see more high-level visits by Chinese defense officials to the United States “so we can understand their continuing buildup and make sure the conditions for stability and peace are maintained,” the official said.