China and the United States 'agree to greater cooperation' in curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions

Ruth Sherlock
President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla - AP

The United States and China will increase their cooperation in convincing North Korea to curb its nuclear ambitions, Rex Tillerson the US secretary of state said on Friday. 

The decision follows Xi Jinping, the Chinese president's first state visit to the United States since the take over by the new administration.

Mr Tillerson said on Friday that whilst no specific action had yet been planned, Mr Xi, had agreed the nuclear programme had advanced to a serious stage.

The US has been urging a reluctant  China to take stronger action against North Korea's continued nuclear ballistic missile tests.

An undated photo released on 24 April 2016 by North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows an 'underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile' conducted at an undisclosed location in North Korea (reissued 05 April 2017).  Credit:  KCNA/EPA/ KCNA

The matter was at the top of the agenda of the high stakes summit between the leaders of the world's two biggest economies, that also addressed key matters on trade, cyber crime and control of the South China Sea. 

Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, said the two world leaders have agreed to a 100-day plan for trade talks to boost US exports and reduce the country's trade deficit with China.

Mr Trump said  that he had developed "an outstanding" relationship with his Chinese counterpart. He added that: "Lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away."

Mr Xi, who was hosted at Mar-a-Lago, Mr Trump's 126-room palatial private members club in Florida, commented that the encounter was "very unique" and that it had an "especially important meaning for the future development of China-US relations".

Mr Trump accepted an invitation to travel to China at some point in 2017.