U.S., China have a strong consensus on North Korea

The U.S. and China have a very strong consensus on the importance of North Korea living up to its international obligations of denuclearization, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

William Burns, the deputy secretary of state, made the remarks on Thursday during a press briefing at the U.S. Department of Treasury's cash room in Washington. When asked if China and North Korea were on the same page in relation to North Korea's need to take concrete steps to show a commitment to denuclearization, Burns said both countries have a similar viewpoint on the issue.

"The issue of North Korea was a very high priority throughout the course of the last two days of discussions, and I think there was a strong reaffirmation from both sides of our commitment to verifiable denuclearization and to meaningful steps on the part of the DPRK to demonstrate its seriousness, because I think neither the United States nor China are interested in talks simply for the sake of talks," Burns said.

Burns said the most recent round of talks is similar to the talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on North Korea in June. He said that in both instances, the U.S. and China emphasized the importance of working together to make sure North Korea starts the process of denuclearization.

"I think there's a very strong consensus between us on the significance of this issue, on the importance of the United States and China working together to ensure that the DPRK lives up to its obligations and translates rhetoric and prior commitments into reality, into the kind of meaningful steps that I think both of us understand are essential to make real diplomatic progress," Burns said.