Kerry to urge China to pressure North Korea
April 11th, 2013
07:36 PM ET

Kerry to urge China to pressure North Korea

By Jill Dougherty

The Obama administration says China is increasingly frustrated by the provocative actions of North Korea and Secretary of State John Kerry will try to convince leaders in Beijing that Pyongyang is, as one senior administration official said, "putting China's own interests at risk."

Briefing reporters on Kerry's plane as he flew from London to the first stop on his four-day Asian tour, that official and a senior State Department official said the administration is urging China to use its leverage with the North "otherwise it is very destabilizing."

Specifically, the officials said the United States wants Beijing to "stop the money trail into North Korea" and to carry a strong message to the North that de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula is China's goal.

"We hear a growing tone of frustration ... in official statements from the Chinese," the administration official said. "China is increasingly concerned about the downstream effects of North Korea's reckless pursuit of a nuclear missile capability and complications for China's foreign strategic environment."

The question for Beijing's leaders, that official said, is "Will China's actions allow North Korea to believe it can continue to act with impunity" in ways that hurt Chinese interests and jeopardize stability on the Peninsula.

The United States is not asking China to stop all engagement across the board with North Korea, the officials said, noting there is no embargo on the North.

China, however, has a long tradition of turning a blind eye to companies that do business with North Korea, the officials said.

"China, in its own interest," said the administration official, "should, and I believe is taking action to protect its banks, to protect it companies, to protect its interests and its international reputation from being hijacked by international entities violating international law."

Kerry will seek to define the areas of common interest with China.

"We have a common interest in putting an end to North Korean proliferation," the senior administration official said, "in stopping the highly destabilizing behavior and the provocative actions of the North Koreans."

Kerry's first stop is in South Korea where he will meet with the new president, Park Geun-hye. In Beijing he will meet with China's new president, Xi Jinping, and at his last stop, Tokyo, he will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reinstated as Prime Minister in 2012.

All three leaders were born around the same time in late 1950s and are second-generation politicians "used to dealing, at least observing, how power is exercised, how decisions are made," one of the U.S. officials traveling with Kerry explained "And this is the first time that we are engaging with all three of them in the same trip."

Kerry's trip, one official said, coming in the midst of threats from North Korea, is aimed at showing U.S. allies that "we are well-prepared, that alliance matters, that we will defend them."

The timing of his visit to Asia is hugely important," one official said. "We're entering a new stage, both in terms of new leadership in Northeast Asia and the second term of the Obama administration. A new approach to the Asia Pacific region from a very, very strong vantage point."

President Barack Obama's focus on engagement in Asia, they argued, has "bolstered our credibility, bolstered our influence" and set the stage for Kerry "to begin the interactive process of sketching out common vision."

Kerry's trip, however, comes at a moment of extraordinary tension on the Korean Peninsula which is causing reverberations throughout the region.

Asked how South Korea's president Park has weathered the crisis, the senior State Department official said, "She has been very cautious ... and handled it like a pro."

"I cannot imagine what she could have done better," the official added. "I would say she has shown quiet calm."

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Jdrtjghk Ssdfgjsdg


    April 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  2. Jdrtjghk Ssdfgjsdg


    April 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  3. Brian Inskeep

    Let me ask you this question ? which came first the chicken or the egg?

    April 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  4. Brian Inskeep

    Tell China, when we are not the reserve currency of the world any more the U.S. will default on our foreign treasury debt we owe China. Furthermore, the U.S. Government will decide what our dollar will be worth...and since we believe in FAIRTRADE the U.S.A. will peg our dollar to china's currency say 50 below in value. Now that's fair trade !... Also, tell china we may put an embargo on all ship containers going to and from china. We will also deny oil imports to china!...How are you going to run your economy with out oil imports ? or expand your economy ! That's fair trade china. Put tariffs on all Chinese imports to the U.S.A.. This will give American manufactures time to regain a major market share of our market. I have a lot of other IDEAS I have passed on to our President and 3 Congressman from both parties. Just tools in the tool kit if we need them. I am a Military Veteran.

    April 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Brian Inskeep

      Maybe, we should put Nuclear weapons in Taiwan and South Korea. We would have a big stick and North Korea and China would think twice about invading Taiwan and South Korea. Just another tool in the tool kit!....

      April 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @Brian,Pres.Obama did raise tariffs on Chinese imports and in solar panels bankrupting one of the largest in China just recently..You have to realize China financially backs their countries companies and is involved in their progress as well having that financial stake in the game..That's why you're hurting not only the company but the country China as well!!

      April 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  5. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    April 12, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Jaimie

      Your nuts. Wake up from your dream.

      April 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Brian Inskeep

      America, love it or leave it!..... Move to china !... All sixty countries we have given back.... We are liberators not annexing countries. WE WILL ALSO GIVE BACK Afghanistan next year....
      The only thing communist countries understand is U.S. military might...

      April 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Hapa

      I agree. Americans continue to trade with this monster after they give North Korea Iron Ore, then increase the price of iron ore to increase north Korea's buying power and then trades it in for wheat.

      ONE Chinese company doesn't have enough klout to push up iron ore prices, it has to be their government.

      Why are we even trading with them? Why not a NEUTRAL country?
      Wait, American leaders are sooo stupid to steal from innocent Americans for criminal bankers. I'm not surprised that they already turned a blind eye on their ally.

      South Koreans died during the Vietnam war with the Americans while golddiging Kerry knived them in the back with Jane Fonda.

      I don't trust him.

      April 14, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @Hapa ,are you the delushional ones that think BoonePickens Swift boat crusade against Kerry were facts,far from the truth as a decorated officer bud...And Fonda just told it back then like it was, a war much these created with lies and innocents in our military getting the shaft being drafted for a war that brought us nothing but grief..Where were you in all this Hapa on the Canadian side running from the draft or not even born yet slugger!!Get some facts before doing what republican posters here do and do it well in sticking their foot in the mouths almost daily!!

        April 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  6. Pete

    All SOS Kerry has to do is explain the consequences of war being the millions of starving N Korean refugees running to China to escape their communist N Korean captures..Maybe then China will wake up seeing the millions of extra mouths to feed at their expense,that'll open their eyes won't it!!Just remember posters N Koreas been on Chinas teet so long its starting to hurt and China like most countries would love to set their black sheeped relative free and let it go fend for itself ..Just go back to the Korean war and Chinas involvement,need I say more!!!

    April 12, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Just so North Korea doesn't "become" OUR problem! China would just love it!

      April 12, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
  7. StanCalif

    It seems obvious (to me) that China has been using North Korea as their research and development site for making nuclear weapons and long range ballistic rockets! China is on a new path to strengthen its military might. However, they must be cautious not to threaten their huge export business! What better way than to hide behind North Korea! Maybe China is somewhat irked with little Fat Boy's independent actions recently, but China has yet to bring its naughty little brother to behave in China's interests. Hopefully, Kerry's visit will get China motivated!!!
    Kerry should tell the Chinese, in no uncertain terms, "Get Fat Boy to behave, or your containers and ships will not be permitted into US ports". This will get their attention! The Chinese need to get their Communist Party heads out of their a**es and out from under the sand and take action, now! North Korea is China's problem to solve, not ours!

    April 12, 2013 at 7:12 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @Stancalif,you're right on some parts but the point taken is putting our countrys foot down even as far as economic sanctions against China even if we are partly in debt to them financially..China remember is in debt to us as a drug dealer is to their junky clientele that buys their product and if we as you say balked not taking in any Chinese products it wouldn't be long till they'd be screaming uncle as well..But the big question to both China and S Korea ,do they want millions of N Korean refugees flooding their countries knowing they have something most of them never had and that's freedom and three square meals with a roof connected as well some maybe never had..That's the big economic white elephant none of them want and that's another black sheep relative they have to feed,cloth and take care of something none of us really want either as well!!

      April 12, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      ""Get Fat Boy to behave, or your containers and ships will not be permitted into US ports". well for that kind of straight talks you need someone like Reagan, not spineless jellyfishes in Washington. I agree one hundred percent with you, we have no reason to close our eyes on China, hoping they are going to go away, with their hacking of our system, or experimenting star war missiles, currency manipulation, piracy of our products , we should be sending strong messages.

      April 12, 2013 at 10:26 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @George Patten,treat UN like the spoiled brat he is and collectively give him the cold shoulder that'll send him a message he's the irrelevant one..Maybe then one of his fathers deputees will tell him the big secret that's he's just a minor leaguer in the major scheme of things and till he learns otherwise shut up and listen to the big boys in the room...He's still wet behind the ears in life that's all and he'll learn in time its easier using honey in diplomacy to get what you want than using vinegar as threats isn't it!!

        April 12, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • George Patton

        @Pete, Al Capone once said " Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me !"

        April 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Brian Inskeep

      I agree with YOU !... It's China's problem. Hit China in the pocketbook. (money) Use our import-leverage !... Like China does with rearearths.....

      April 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • Brian Inskeep


        April 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Brian Inskeep


        April 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Pete

        @Brian,rare earth metals in what goes in computers and cellbphones,medical equipment got yah on that one right..And China been getting stengy as well with them as well..

        April 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  8. wjm

    I like the sentiment behind your comment, but I think its probably better if they castrate the chicken's uncle. He seems to be the one pulling the puppets strings.

    April 12, 2013 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • Brian Inskeep

      Any time you go too war you should always cut off the Head (Leadership)

      April 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  9. cmaenergy

    What cackles like a chicken what walks like a chicken, Oh what crows like dead rooster?
    Must be a foolish chicken.

    So How do you kill a chicken?


    April 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.