The U.S. says that if North Korea keeps advancing its weapons programs, the U.S. will be compelled to take defensive measures that China will not like.

Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said North Korea is getting closer to having a nuclear-tipped missile that could threaten the continental U.S.

He said while China's influence over the North has diminished, it still has economic leverage.

Blinken spoke ahead of a Thursday meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Blinken said the U.S. is willing to provide to China specifications of a U.S. missile defense system that may be deployed in South Korea to counter the threat of North Korean missiles, to offer assurance it would not undermine China's strategic deterrence.