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(LEAD) Kerry warns N. Korea of 'dead end'

All Headlines 03:59 November 05, 2014

(ATTN: ADDS background in last 3 paras; CHANGES headline)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he hopes to work closely with China to get North Korea to realize that it is on a path to "a dead end" and that giving up its nuclear program is the only path to security and prosperity.

Kerry made his remarks in a speech at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, stressing the importance of cooperation with China on nonproliferation, days before he visits Beijing for multilateral and bilateral meetings.

"Our cooperation also makes a difference when it comes to nuclear proliferation," he said, adding that the U.S. is very encouraged by China's "serious engagement" on negotiations over Iran's nuclear program as a full partner in the "P-5 plus one" talks.

"And we're very hopeful that, working more closely together, the United States and China will ultimately bring North Korea to the realization that its current approach is leading to a dead end, and the only path that will bring it security and prosperity is to make real progress towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula," he said.

Kerry is scheduled to visit China Nov. 7-8 for a range of multilateral and bilateral meetings with officials from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries in advance of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Beijing for the APEC leaders' meeting.

Last week, Kerry praised China for putting in more serious efforts than last year to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program. Beijing reduced the amount of jet fuel going into the North and put limitations on trade going into the country, he said.

China is North Korea's last remaining major ally and a key provider of food and fuel supplies. But it has been reluctant to use its influence for fears that pushing the regime too hard could result in instability in the North and hurt Chinese national interests.

Analysts say that China often increased pressure on the North in the past, too, especially when Pyongyang defied international appeals and carried out nuclear tests and other provocative acts, but China never went as far as to cause real pain to the North.

On Tuesday, North Korea accused Kerry of using the issue of human rights in an attempt to topple the communist regime, and vowed not to hold denuclearization or human rights talks with the U.S.

"It is self-evident that one party cannot discuss its unilateral disarming with the rival party keen to bring it down at any cost," the North's foreign ministry said. "The DPRK (North Korea) keeps the door of dialogue on genuine human rights open to the countries that respect its sovereignty but it will never allow any human rights dialogue or nuclear one with the enemy keen to overthrow it."

North Korea has strongly protested efforts led by the European Union to adopt a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for referring the communist nation to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations.

Pyongyang claims that the U.S. is behind the move.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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