- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2009

President Obama on Monday urged China to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, saying that the United States and China have a mutual interest in stunting an arms race in the region.

“Make no mistake: The more nations acquire these weapons, the more likely it is that they will be used,” Mr. Obama said in remarks at the opening of two days of high-level economic and strategic talks in Washington between top U.S. and Chinese officials.

“We must continue our collaboration to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and make it clear to North Korea that the path to security and respect can be traveled if they meet their obligations.”

Mr. Obama also courted China’s help in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons while “urging the Islamic Republic to live up to its international obligations.”

“This is not about singling out any one nation — it is about the responsibility of all nations,” the president said. “Together, we must cooperate to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.”

“A balance of terror cannot hold. In the 21st century, a strong and global regime is the only basis for security from the world’s deadliest weapons,” he added.

Chinese officials refrained from mentioning North Korean during Monday morning’s public event at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

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