U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks away with World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, after Kerry spoke to the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing for peaceful resolutions to increasingly tense maritime disputes in Asia and urging China to take a firmer stand on North Korea's nuclear program after its recent bomb test.Before that summit, U.S. officials say, Kerry will make the case to the leader of the 10-nation bloc to present a unified stance in dealing with China on the disputes, which have grown more intense as China continues to construct man-made islands and airstrips in contested areas.The official said the U.S. believed that Laos would do a better job in balancing ASEAN interests with China.The U.S. has stepped up efforts to help clear Laos of those bombs and Kerry is expected to commit to expanding and upgrading such programs with details to be announced when Obama visits later in 2016, the U.S. official said.Kerry will wrap up his Asia tour in Beijing, where he will renew concerns about China's aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and call for Chinese leaders to take more steps to press North Korea on its nuclear program.
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