China ‘deeply worried’ over Korean crisis, calls for dialogue

South Korean protesters attach a picture of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on a picket as others hold signs reading "Stop, Artillery Drills," during an anti-war and anti-government rally in Seoul on Saturday. Photo: AP.  

China today said it was “deeply worried” over the deteriorating security situation on the Korean peninsula and called for immediate resumption of talks between North Korea and South Korea to de-escalate tensions.

“China is deeply worried” about the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which is extremely precarious, highly complicated and sensitive, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said in a statement here.

China, which shares close strategic relationship with North Korea has been calling for urgent consultations after tensions escalated by shelling of a South Korean island by the North last month in which four persons were killed.

After this South Korea, which geared up to war preparedness, said it would retaliate any further firing from the North with air strikes. The South also began holding military exercises along with US forces, which infuriated the North Korea.

Mr. Zhang said China had repeatedly told the parties that if blood were shed on the Korean Peninsula, the peoples on the two sides of the peninsula would be the first to suffer.

He said bloodshed and conflict would lead to the national tragedy of fratricide among compatriots and brothers of both the Koreas and harm regional peace and stability and affect neighbouring countries.

He said in a bid to de-escalate the situation, China had sent its top diplomat, Dai Bingguo to Seoul and Pyongyang this week.

Mr. Dai had candid and thorough talks with leaders of the both the countries urging them to show restraint, conduct talks and engagement, and avoid any activity that could worsen the situation, Mr. Zhang said.

China was firmly against any act that could lead to the escalation of tensions and break regional peace and stability, he said and urged the six parties involved in the efforts to de-nuclearisation of North Korea in 2003 should meet to hold consultations.

Launched in 2003 and stalled since the end of 2008, the six-party talks involve China, Russia, the United States and Japan besides the two Koreas.

Except Russia and North Korea, other parties including the U.S. have not favourably responded so far and instead urging Beijing to restrain Pyongyang from resorting to provocative attacks.

Mr. Zhang said China hoped all parties would adopt responsible attitudes and resolve issues through peaceful means.

South Korea has declared plans for a live fire artillery drill in waters southwest of Yonphyong Island on a date from December 18 to 21 depending on the weather conditions.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 5:30:36 PM |

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