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Xi calls to restart peninsula talks

Updated: 2013-01-24 03:32
By Li Xiaokun and Zhou Wa in Beijing and Zhang Yuwei in New York ( China Daily)

Party chief Xi Jinping called for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks concerning the Korean Peninsula during a meeting with a special envoy of the Republic of Korea's President-elect Park Geun-hye.

The remarks on Wednesday came hours after Beijing supported a United Nations Security Council resolution unanimously condemning the rocket launch in December by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The resolution also expanded existing UN sanctions.

Xi calls to restart peninsula talks
Special envoy Kim Moo-sung delivers a letter to Party chief Xi Jinping from the Republic of Korea’s President-elect Park Geun-hye in Beijing on Wednesday. [Wu Zhiyi / China Daily]

 

In a swift response, Pyongyang rejected involvement in any future disarmament negotiations and vowed to bolster its nuclear deterrence.

Analysts said Beijing is adopting a constructive approach by paying attention to the concerns of Pyongyang while taking into account viewpoints from other parties.

To solve the nuclear issue on the peninsula, both the symptoms and root causes must be addressed, Xi told envoy Kim Moo-sung during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

Kim played a key role in Park's presidential campaign last year.

Dialogue and consultation are the key to solving the DPRK nuclear issue and ensuring a nuclear-free peninsula, Xi said.

The meeting came one day before Glyn Davies, Washington's special representative for DPRK policy, holds talks with the ROK's chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam in Seoul. Davies will then fly to Beijing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called on Wednesday for all sides to show restraint.

"The DPRK's satellite launch highlights the urgency of solving issues on the peninsula, and we believe the root of the problem is security concerns," Hong said.

The Six-Party Talks, involving China, the DPRK, the ROK, the US, Russia and Japan, are an effective way to address concerns, he added.

The UN resolution, No 2087, reiterated a demand that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons program in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible manner'', and ordered it to end the use of ballistic missile technology.

It also ordered a freeze of more DPRK assets and imposed a travel ban on four more officials.

The DPRK Foreign Ministry said that it will reject any attempts to engage Pyongyang in disarmament negotiations.

"There can be talks on the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region, but no talks on denuclearization of the peninsula,'' it said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency just hours after the resolution was adopted.

Six-nation disarmament negotiations, hosted by China, have been stalled since Pyongyang walked away from the talks following UN punishment for a 2009 rocket launch.

The DPRK statement also vowed to "bolster the military capabilities for self-defense, including the nuclear deterrent". It said Pyongyang "should counter the hostile policy of the US with strength, not with words". Pyongyang carried out nuclear tests weeks after rocket launches in 2006 and 2009, and the region is bracing for the possibility of another nuclear test.

Yu Shaohua, director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Security and Cooperation Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the DPRK will tend toward caution.

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