BEIJING (AFP) ― U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Japan on Sunday after China and the United States vowed to work together to try to defuse nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
After an intense day of diplomacy Saturday in Beijing, Kerry warned Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping that the stakes were high as China’s erratic ally North Korea threatens a missile launch that would extend a weeks-long crisis.
China is Pyongyang’s sole major ally and backer, and is widely seen as the only country with leverage to influence its actions ― although it is also reluctant to risk destabilizing the regime.
“The importance of the visit yesterday really cannot be overstated,” Kerry told U.S. embassy staff in Beijing on Sunday ahead of his departure for Tokyo.
“This is a critical time. Needless to say, being able to speak directly to my Chinese counterpart and try to focus on some very critical issues is of major importance.” READ MORE