IBTimes UK

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to take steps to rein in North Korea's nuclear programme and boost overall nuclear security worldwide.

Meeting on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit in Washington on Thursday, the two leaders said the Korean peninsula needs to be kept nuclear-free.

Obama said the world community should explore "how we can discourage action like nuclear missile tests that escalate tensions and violate international obligations".

Xi said it was crucial for all sides to "fully and strictly" implement the sanctions imposed on North Korea after it conducted a nuclear test and a series of missile tests, China's state news agency Xinhua reported.

China's assistant foreign minister Zheng Zeguan said the two sides agreed to work on improving cyber security, a thorny issues between the US and China.

Zheng also said China still had series differences with the US policy in South China Sea. He said Xi sought assurance from Obama that US will uphold a 'commitment' not to take a position on the maritime disputes and "play a constructive role" in maintaining peace and stability.

Obama is hosting the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in the backdrop of rising fears over global terror organisations laying hands on nuclear weapons and nuclear rogues advancing their capabilities.

More than 50 heads of state are participating in the final edition of the nuclear summit, which focuses on the risks in civilian nuclear sector, apart from the reduction of warheads and non-proliferating efforts.

IBTimes UK