Kerry to meet China's top leaders to discuss N. Korea

BEIJING - US Secretary of State JohnKerry was scheduled to meet China's top leaders on Saturday in an effort topersuade them to exert pressure on North Korea to scale back itsbelligerent rhetoric and, eventually, return to nuclear talks.

Traveling to Beijing for the first time as secretary ofstate, Kerry made no secret of his desire to see China take amore activist stance toward North Korea, which in recent weekshas threatened nuclear war against the United States.

As the North's main trading partner, financial backer andthe closest thing it has to a diplomatically, China has aunique ability to use its leverage against the impoverished,isolated state, Kerry said in the South Korean capital Seoullate on Friday.