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China's attitude on DPRK 'consistent and clear' | Updated: 2013-06-19 16:13

The Foreign Ministry on June 18 said Beijing hasn't changed its attitude toward Pyongyang. The comment came in response to US President Barack Obama's statement that China was taking a tougher line against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear program.

"China's position on the Korean peninsula nuclear issue is consistent and clear," said ministry spokesman Hua Chunying.

"China is committed to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, as well as the settlement of the issue through dialogue and consultation."

Obama said he has seen that "the Chinese take more seriously the problem of constant provocation and statements from the North Koreans — rejecting the nuclearization" in an interview with The Charlie Rose Show broadcast on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea's top envoy on the DPRK left on June 18 for a meeting in Washington with his US and Japanese counterparts, two days after Pyongyang proposed direct, high-level talks with the US.

After Washington, Cho Tae-Yong will travel to Beijing — where he is likely to overlap with a visit to the Chinese capital by the DPRK's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye-gwan.

In Washington, Cho will meet with the US and Japanese special envoys on the DPRK, Glyn Davies and Shinsuke Sugiyama, but said he had "no plan" to meet Kim in Beijing.

Speaking to the ROK's Yonhap news agency before his departure, Cho said it was important to retain a clear perspective on the DPRK's recent moves towards dialogue after months of military tensions.

"At this point, it is important for relevant parties to rebuild trust so that progress can be made toward the goal of denuclearizing North Korea, rather than talks for talks' sake," Cho said.

Pyongyang's offer of direct denuclearization talks with Washington — bypassing any initial dialogue with Seoul — was seen by many analysts as a bid to drive a wedge between the United States and its ROK ally.

The US responded by insisting that Pyongyang first demonstrate its willingness to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

China Daily – AFP

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