China seeks early US-N. Korea talks

11 March, 2018, 03:05 | Author: Angel Logan
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Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the summit would be "an important step in the right direction" and called on the USA and North Korea to "engage in dialogue sooner rather than later".

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress at the media center in Beijing, on March 8, 2018.

But foreign ministry officials have cautioned it is too early to assume the talks will bring a lasting breakthrough on the central issue - nuclear weapons.

"The fact is that China's double suspension proposal worked as a medicine and was proved to lay the best groundwork for improvement in North-South relations", Wang added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un have now agreed to meet at the border and discuss a halt to the weapons testing.

China "fully commends and supports" the steps taken by the two countries and urges the US and North Korea, "to engage in dialogue sooner rather than later" and move to set up a peace-establishing mechanism, Yi said. He pointed out that during the Olympics, North Korea had not conducted any new nuclear or missile tests while the United States and South Korea had put off their joint military exercises.

Wang also claimed that China's efforts have led to a recent inter-Korean thaw, praising a proposal aimed at easing security tensions between the two Koreas that he himself had presented exactly one year ago. Pyongyang's security concerns should be addressed in return for a pledge to denuclearize, he said.

"Despite light at the end of the tunnel, the journey ahead won't be smooth".

It was not clear in Wang's comments which parties might be insincere about coming to a solution - possibly all of them.

China will host the SCO summit in the port of Qingdao in June.

"Now is a crucial moment for testing the sincerity of the parties", who must show political courage to restart dialogue for the peaceful settlement of nuclear issue, Wang said.

"As long as China-Japan relations continue to improve, things will naturally move forward", Wang said.

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