The United States has praised the role of China in the North Korean nuclear issue and has warned Pyongyang that any additional testing at this stage will have "very serious damage" to the current diplomatic process under way.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill recalled several discussions on North Korea between President George W Bush and his Chinese counterpart President Hu Jintao.
Hill is getting ready to go over to Beijing for the re-start of the Six-Party talks scheduled to get under way this weekend. Prior to reaching China, the senior State Department official will be in Japan, and perhaps even in South Korea for consultations.
"... The president of China, Hu Jintao, and our president - have had considerable discussions over the years on this issue. And more recently this issue, I think, has become probably the number one issue in our - along with the economic issues - in the US-China relationship. So, our presidents had a very good discussion about this issue when President Hu Jintao came to Washington last April," Hill told reporters during a briefing.
"They talked about it again when they saw each other during the G-8 Summit meeting in Scotland. They talked about it again when they met together in Hanoi. There's been very close cooperation," the senior official said, and added that Beijing and Washington have a "pretty clear understanding" on what needs to be achieved.