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US says China to gain from pressing North Korea

Published on Apr 2, 2014 3:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - China should press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons if Beijing wants to change US troop plans in the region, a US official said Tuesday.

Danny Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, acknowledged that a growing China has been unhappy with efforts by the United States to strengthen defence cooperation with allies Japan and South Korea.

"The most direct way for China to affect those military deployments and those strategic alliance plans is by applying its leverage to North Korea to bring about a decision on the part of Pyongyang to choose the right path," Mr Russel told a conference call organised by the Asia Society.

China is the closest ally of North Korea and has voiced growing frustration over the regime's nuclear program, although US experts widely believe that Beijing does not want to risk the collapse of Kim Jong-Un's regime.

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