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Xi stresses China's North Korea concerns in talk with Trump

13 April 2017

President Xi Jinping urged a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis in a phone call he made to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Wednesday, according to a report by China's state media.

"The information is a total fabrication", the Defense Ministry said, when asked if China had sent an additional contingent to the border with North Korea.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, April 6, 2017.

Trump, it added, said that it was very important for the two heads of state to maintain close ties, and that he agreed that the USA and China should work together to "expand pragmatic cooperation in a wide range of areas".

"North Korea has always been a very critical and also a very sensitive piece on the chessboard for China", he said.

"The overt presence of Chinese forces would dissuade the U.S. from going into that territory because they would run the risk of inviting that larger conflict themselves", Tack said.

The call between the leaders of the world's largest economies followed their first face-to-face meeting late last week.

Trump is said to have described last week's summit as a success and that he was looking forward to visiting China soon, although the White House has yet to confirm the details of the call.

Xi told Trump that China insists on peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson to the area and the conducting of the biggest-ever U.S.

In the wake of the Trump-Xi meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that China understood how unsafe North Korea's nuclear programme had become and had agreed action must be taken to stop it, the report said.

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Following repeated missile tests that drew worldwide criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on February 26, cutting off the country's most important export product.

China's Global Times newspaper also said in an editorial North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile activities "for its own security".

Mr. Trump's tweet repeated his frustration with Beijing for not doing enough to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

President Barack Obama ordered an aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force in November 2010 after North Korea launched a deadly artillery barrage on the South.

The language suggested China - the North's sole major ally and economic lifeline - could restrict oil imports to the country, after already announcing a suspension of all coal imports until the end of the year.

China's Foreign Ministry said Trump initiated the call.

Following the order, a fleet of North Korean cargo ships headed home to the port of Nampo, shipping data revealed.

"When it comes to the issue of the Korean Peninsula, violence is not an option", he said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the press that Mr Xi understands that "action has to be taken" to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.