US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed during a meeting "on the importance of a strong and united international response to North Korea's provocations, including through a UN Security Council resolution that goes beyond previous resolutions," it said in a statement.

"They agreed that they will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," said the statement from National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.

Price said President Barack Obama joined the meeting "to underscore his interest in building a durable, constructive, and productive US-China relationship" and that the US leader looked forward to welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping to a March 31-April 1 nuclear security summit in Washington and "working together towards its success."

The White House statement came as diplomats at United Nations headquarters in New York said Washington and Beijing had agreed on a draft resolution imposing fresh sanctions on North Korea and the Security Council could vote on the measure in the coming days.

The United States circulated the draft text to the other three permanent council members - Britain, France and Russia - yesterday and was set to formally present it to the full 15-member council soon, said the diplomats, who asked not to be named.

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