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China, Russia oppose foreign military action against DPRK

By ZHOU WA | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-23 02:38

UN deputy chief says China 'could have a positive influence on developments'

China and Russia expressed their opposition on Friday to any foreign military intervention on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, as the UN's deputy head and Chinese foreign affairs officials discussed the tension.

China, Russia oppose foreign military action against DPRK
The two countries' foreign ministers condemned last week's test and said any action against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has to be agreed at the United Nations Security Council.

"We are against the carrying out of a nuclear test in the DPRK," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a joint news conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

"The UN Security Council should give an adequate response, but the action should be directed towards peace on the Korean peninsula," he said.

Lavrov said China and Russia had agreed that it was "vitally important not to allow the situation to be used as a pretext for military intervention".

In Beijing, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson exchanged views with Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun on the current situation following the latest nuclear test by the DPRK.

Eliasson is making his first trip to Asia since he took office in July.

There is hope that "China could have a positive influence on developments now, at least in the direction of de-escalation, but also to convey the message to the leadership in the DPRK how dangerous this development could be", Eliasson said.

China plays a special role in the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, but the DPRK and the United States are the key parties to solve the issue, observers said.

But China alone cannot solve the issue, said Wang Junsheng, a researcher on East Asian studies with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China has good relationships with both the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, but what China could do is to mediate with relevant countries, Wang said.

China, Russia oppose foreign military action against DPRK

What the DPRK cares most is that the US respects its security concerns after the Cold War, said Chen Qi, an international affairs professor at the Tsinghua University.

Taking the Six-Party Talks as an example, Eliasson said: "It is important that we (should) try to avoid situation escalation and there is very major responsibility on the DPRK government. We also hope that there is a road back as soon as possible to political process."

Eliasson also urged international diplomats to push countries back onto the political track to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The DPRK is banned under UN sanctions from developing missile or nuclear technology after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.

Pyongyang's latest test prompted warnings from Washington and its allies in the region that more sanctions would be imposed on the DPRK.

Park Geun-hye, President-elect of the Republic of Korea, said on Friday it is important to hand out strong punishment to the DPRK in case of reckless provocations, as she met top military commanders just three days before taking office, reported Yonhap News Agency.

"I and the government will never tolerate Pyongyang possessing nuclear weapons and will establish a perfect deterrence based on the strong alliance with the US," Park said.

Given that Pyongyang conducted the nuclear test weeks before Park's inauguration on Monday, Park is not showing much goodwill to the DPRK at the moment, but she is very likely to improve the relations between Seoul and Pyongyang in the future, said Wang from the CASS.

Reuters contributed to the story.

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