August 15, 2017

China calls on U.S. to tackle Korean Peninsula issues

China on Tuesday called on the U.S. to back up Monday’s statement by senior U.S. officials that the U.S. wished to resolve Korean Peninsula issue via diplomatic means.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula fully serves the interests of all.

Wang made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in remarks in response to an opinion piece by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stressed the importance of a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Tillerson and Mattis had written in the Monday edition of The Wall Street Journal that Washington has “no interest” in regime change in Pyongyang nor in accelerated reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

He said “diplomacy is our preferred means” of changing the DPRK’s course of action.’’

Speaking at a daily news briefing on Tuesday, Chunying said that China hopes to see concrete policies by the U.S. side towards the DPRK that reflect the views of the two senior officials.

“We also call on the DPRK to respond to these remarks,” she said.

Tensions escalated on the peninsula after the DPRK twice test-fired what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile last month.

U.S. President Donald Trump had warned Pyongyang that if it continued to threaten the U.S., it would be met with “fire and fury.”

In response, the DPRK warned of the launch of intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting the waters off the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific.

Chunying said China has always believed that the security issue is the crux of Korean Peninsula denuclearisation, and that “the key is in the hands of the U.S. and the DPRK.”

She said that China hopes that all parties concerned will accept China’s “suspension for suspension” proposal which requires the DPRK to suspend its missile and nuclear activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale military drills between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

“China will continue to implement UN Security Council resolutions and play an active role in the peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue,’’ she said.

ROK President Moon Jae-in said in a televised speech Tuesday that U.S. military action on the Korean Peninsula may not be taken without Seoul’s consent, and the crisis should “absolutely” be solved peacefully.

Hua said it is in all parties’ interests to solve the issue in a peaceful way.

She urged all concerned to show restraint and make a responsible choice to ease the tensions in a highly sensitive and complex situation.

The spokesperson also said that it is in line with the fundamental interests of both the DPRK and the ROK to improve bilateral ties via dialogue and promote reconciliation.

“We hope the two sides can work together and create conditions to restart dialogue,” she said.