John Kerry discusses N Korea, Iran with Chinese FM
Washington: Newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to discuss Iran and possible North Korean atomic tests, besides bilateral issues including trade and climate change.
"They agreed on the importance of continuing to work to strengthen US-China relations, notably including in the economic trade and investment sphere," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
The two diplomats also discussed the continued provocative rhetoric coming from North Korea and commitments under UN Security Council to ensure that there are further consequences if North Korea takes further action in violation of its international obligations.
In fact, North Korea has been a major issue of Kerry's discussion during his calls to his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.
"They also discussed Iran and the upcoming round of P-5+1 talks in Almaty. And finally, the Secretary noted his hope that the US and China can redouble our efforts together to address climate change," Nuland said.
The Iranians and the EU have now confirmed that they will have talks on February 26 on Tehran's nuclear issue.
Kerry, who was sworn in as the Secretary of State last Friday in place of Hillary Clinton, also called the European Union High Representative Lady Ashton, during which they talked about the situation in Mali, commending the French efforts, commending the fact that African troops are beginning to flow in, discussed the status of the EU training mission.
They talked about Libya, importance of US and EU coordination to support the transition ongoing there, both in security terms and in economic terms, she said.
He and Ashton also talked about Middle East peace at some length, the importance of supporting the transition underway in Egypt, and the proposals that Vice President Biden made at the Munich Security Conference with regard to US and EU trade proposals.
Kerry also visited the Diplomatic Security Command Center, reflecting his mood to empower the Department with resources to ensure that they are living up to the highest standards of security around the world. Among other things, Kerry also met former Secretary of State James Baker.