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Beijing urges goodwill for peninsula summit

By Wang Qingyun and Zhou Jin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-17 09:05
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang. [Photo/Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

Beijing has urged all parties to demonstrate goodwill and sincerity for the planned summit between Pyongyang and Washington, calling for active efforts for denuclearization and lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Now is an important opportunity for the process of a political solution to the Korean Peninsula issue, and Pyongyang and Washington should work together to create a good atmosphere for the summit, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday after Pyongyang threatened to cancel the summit.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's first vice-foreign minister said the country has no interest in a summit with the United States if it's going to be a "one-sided" affair in which the DPRK is pressured to give up its nuclear weapons.

The statement by Kim Kye-gwan on Wednesday came hours after the DPRK abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with the Republic of Korea and threatened to do the same with a planned summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump next month.

The decision to cancel the meeting with Seoul came because of "provocative" air force drills going on between the Republic of Korea and the US, the Korean Central News Agency said. Kim Kye-gwan warned the US to "think twice about the fate" of the summit, which had been scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12.

The canceled high-level talks with Seoul, previously scheduled for Wednesday, were meant for Pyongyang and Seoul to discuss the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration their leaders reached in April, in which the two sides agreed to work for denuclearization and peace in the Korean Peninsula.

"We support and hope that the DPRK and the ROK will express full understanding of and respect for each other's reasonable concerns and work together to accumulate trust and improve ties according to the spirit of dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation demonstrated in the Panmunjom Declaration," Lu said.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula had seemed to ease significantly since January, when Pyongyang decided to participate in the Winter Olympics, hosted by Seoul.

The hard-won dialogue and easing of tensions in the peninsula should be treasured by all parties and is in line with their common interests, Lu said.

Seoul said it regrets the suspension of the high-level talks, and urged Pyongyang to resume them as soon as possible, while its Defense Ministry said the drills will continue as planned, Yonhap News Agency reported.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington has not heard anything from Pyongyang or Seoul to stop the drills or to cancel the summit between Trump and Kim. She said the US will go ahead and plan for the summit.

The Associated Press and Zhao Huanxin contributed to this story.

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