A Chinese delegation pledged friendship and deeper ties with Pyongyang Monday
as Beijing sought to encourage its neighbour back into nuclear disarmament
Amid China's efforts to help ease tensions caused by the missile tests of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan backed away Monday from its
insistence that the UN Security Council should vote on its proposal for
sanctions against Pyongyang.
Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, China's chief negotiator of the Six-Party
Talks, arrived in Pyongyang as part of a goodwill delegation led by Vice-Premier
Hui Liangyu to celebrate the 45th anniversary of a friendship treaty between
China and the DPRK, the Foreign Ministry said.
A DPRK delegation was expected to arrive in China today to mark the
anniversary. Meanwhile, top leaders of the two countries exchanged
congratulatory messages over the treaty, Xinhua News Agency said.
The Chinese message was addressed to the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il from
President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Wu Bangguo, the country's top
The Chinese Government has not said whether Wu or Hui, who will stay in
Pyongyang for six days, will bring up the issue of the six-nation nuclear talks.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu revealed last week that China was "making
assiduous efforts" in pushing for a resumption of the negotiations.
Talks have been deadlocked since November because of a boycott by Pyongyang
in protest of a crackdown by Washington on its alleged money-laundering and
other financial crimes.
The Chinese delegation visit has attracted much attention amid the rush of
diplomatic exchanges that have taken place since the DPRK's missile tests last
Considering the Chinese move, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said
yesterday Japan would not insist on a vote on a UN Security Council resolution,
proposed by Japan, that would impose sanctions on Pyongyang for test-launching
The United States, Britain and France have expressed support for the Japanese
proposal to the United Nations to slap sanctions on Pyongyang. But China and
Russia both permanent Security Council members with the power to veto UN actions
have voiced opposition to the resolution.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing "exchanged views" by phone on Sunday with his
counterparts from 11 council members and the Republic of Korea (ROK), the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
He stressed that "any action should be conducive to maintaining the peace and
stability in the region and the unity of the Security Council," the statement
Despite the opposition, Japan had initially showed no signs of backing away
from the UN resolution.
Nine of the 15 votes on the council would have been needed to pass the
resolution, which would bar the transfer of financial resources connected to
Pyongyang's nuclear programme.