BEIJING - China on Friday voiced concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) plan to launch a satellite in April.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with Ji Jae Ryong, DPRK ambassador to China, on Friday to express China's worry over the matter, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Zhang exchanged views with Ji Jae Ryong on China-DPRK ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, said the statement.
Zhang said China had taken note of the DPRK's satellite plan as well as the reaction from the international community. China believes it is the common obligation, and in common interests of, all parties concerned to maintain the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia, said the statement.
"We sincerely hope parties concerned stay calm and exercise restraint and avoid escalation of tension that may lead to a more complicated situation," Zhang was quoted as saying.
The DPRK announced earlier in the day it would launch an "earth observation" satellite, or the Kwangmyongsong-3, using a long-range rocket to mark the 100th birthday of late leader Kim Il-Sung.
The satellite would be launched from a station in North Phyongan province between April 12 and 16, the DPRK's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported, citing a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology.