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Beijing calls distrust the root cause of Korean Peninsula nuclear issue

By LI XIAOKUN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-18 07:02

The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is rooted in distrust among the sides concerned, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to reports that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will press China on the issue during his upcoming visit.

"The current situation of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is not because there is no good agreement or dialogues, but because some important achievements were not implemented tangibly and effectively," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing.

"We believe that the reason for the peninsula issue lies with the deep-rooted hostility and distrust among the relevant parties," she said.

Hua said China has seriously fulfilled its responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and opposes any country imposing unilateral sanctions on another country according to its own laws.

Tillerson is expected to demand, during his first visit to China since taking office, that Beijing exert pressure on Pyongyang, Reuters reported. His visit begins on Saturday.

"I don't believe we have ever fully achieved the maximum level of action that can be taken under the UN Security Council resolution with full participation of all countries," Tillerson said on Friday in Seoul, the second stop of his Asia trip. "We know that other nations can take actions."

Tillerson said on Friday that Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs must be halted.

Military action is an "option on the table", he said, adding that "the policy of strategic patience has ended", according to Agence France-Presse.

Tillerson said in Tokyo, the first stop of the trip, that 20 years of efforts to denuclearize the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had "failed".

Hua responded to the remarks on Friday, calling on countries concerned to follow the dual-track approach proposed by China, which calls for denuclearizing the peninsula while also establishing a path to ensure peace.

On Friday, Tillerson visited a US base about 400 meters from the demilitarized zone between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, where he greeted US soldiers.

Fan Jishe, a senior researcher of US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Trump administration should look into why the issue has not been solved in recent decades.

"They should also notice the fact that when Washington wanted to look after Pyongyang's concerns, Pyongyang was actually willing to cooperate."

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