Visiting U.S. Senator John McCain has urged China to end the four-day deadlock at the United Nations Security Council by supporting punitive sanctions against North Korea for its latest missile test that has threatened the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, reports say.

Following his meeting with Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo and National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, McCain said he expressed the need for an international commitment to take some strong action against Pyongyang, including the possibility of sanctions at the United Nations.

Stating that Beijing had more clout than any other country to influence the Stalinist nation's behavior, the Arizona Republican said stronger measures were needed in response to Sunday's launch, including sanctions at the Security Council.

He urged the Chinese to exercise its responsibility as quickly as possible and as strongly as possible, which he believes they have not done enough of in the past.

China, a veto-wielding permanent member at the Security Council along with the U.S., is Pyongyang's strongest ally and has called for restraint in response to Sunday's rocket firing, in contrast to the strong expressions of concern from the U.S., Japan and South Korea---who say they believe the launch was a test of a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska, not a satellite launch as Pyongyang insists.

McCain also expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in six-nation talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

The negotiations, hosted by China and involving the U.S., Japan, Russia and North and South Korea, are currently stalled after five years of hard bargaining over Pyongyang's refusal of a verification process that would confirm it had dismantled its nuclear programs.

Besides the issues relating to North Korea, the U.S. and Chinese sides promised to enhance the two countries' dialogue on the economy, legislation and military.

McCain said the U.S attaches importance to China-U.S. relations and promised to enhance cooperation with China to crack down on piracy.

Wu Bangguo said he hoped the two countries' legislative bodies could enhance mutual understanding and coordinate macro-economic policies for an economic recovery.

National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said the consensus reached between the two countries' leaders in London would improve China-U.S military relations. The two sides would respect each others' core interests and appropriately resolve conflicts and sensitive issues.

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