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US pressures China on North Korea

world Updated: Dec 07, 2010 01:01 IST

The United States has stepped up diplomatic pressure on China by accusing its leaders of “enabling” North Korea to start a uranium-enrichment program and to launch attacks on South Korea, a senior US administration official said this weekend.

The accusations mark a further deterioration of the tone of the US relationship with Asia’s emerging giant and come as both countries prepare for a second summit next month between President Obama and Hu Jintao.

At a meeting on Monday with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopes to begin the process of tightening the three-way relationship, as a response to the persistent North Korean provocations and China’s inaction.

While the new U.S. position reflects a growing frustration with China’s apparent unwillingness to rein in Pyongyang, it also underscores a sense that the United States and South Korea have run out of leverage with the North and are therefore left dependent on Beijing for a solution to the security of the peninsula.

In exclusive partership with The Washington Post