Image copyright EPA Image caption China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, is one of five Chinese envoys to the US
The US and China have held “frank” talks to reduce tension over the North Korean nuclear threat.
Washington Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai met for hours of discussions in Washington.
Mr Pompeo is known to favour tougher sanctions on Pyongyang to force it to give up its nuclear arsenal.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a peaceful resolution of the stand-off, which has heightened tensions in the region.
After the talks the State Department announced that the two parties would “continue to seek to de-escalate tensions” but did not say if there would be a breakthrough.
Washington’s National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters at the Pentagon that the US would seek “way, way more pressure on the North Korean regime”.
The US has placed heavy financial pressure on China to put pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programmes, with some warning the consequences could be devastating.
Mr Pompeo said the talks focused on how to try to get China to fulfil its commitments to implement United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea.
He said there were “fairly good and candid exchanges”.
President Xi called for a peaceful solution to the issue at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this month, stressing China’s position that the process must be peaceful.