US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with China’s President Xi Jinping, and the two countries have issued a joint statement saying they are “committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsular”.
Washington has been urging Beijing to take a more active role in resolving the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability as it seeks to defuse tension, and reassure its regional allies such as Japan who are within range of the North’s missiles.
In Tokyo Japan’s Minister of Defence has been visiting an anti-missile battery that has been set up in the city centre. The region is bracing itself for an expected North Korean ballistic missile test to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder on Monday.
In Pyongyang, which has repeatedly vowed never to give up its “treasured” nuclear guarantee of security preparations for the anniversary are underway, and state television has been showing pictures of members of the armed forces visiting the birthplace of Kim Il-Sung.
It has ignored the Kerry visit, instead concentrating on floral displays, the unveiling of a monument in the provinces, and foreigners visiting the capital.