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'Opposition' to launch by DPRK

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-30 06:52

Beijing expresses 'grave concern' over claim of successful ICBM test

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is China's unswerving goal, President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Donald Trump during a phone conversation on Wednesday.

Xi said China is ready to join the US in pushing the nuclear issue toward a peaceful settlement.

On Wednesday, Beijing expressed "grave concern and opposition" to Pyongyang's latest missile test and called for talks to peacefully resolve the nuclear crisis on the peninsula.

"The United Nations Security Council resolutions are explicit about Pyongyang's use of ballistic missile technologies, and China strongly urged Pyongyang to stop activities that increase tensions on the peninsula," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

China hopes all related parties will behave with caution and jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the region, he said at a daily news conference.

Geng also said that the "suspension for suspension" initiative proposed by China is the most feasible and reasonable approach to ease the current situation.

Early on Wednesday, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea successfully test-fired a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile, which it claimed is capable of striking the entire United States mainland, the country's Korean Central Television reported.

The newly developed Hwasong-15 ICBM has more advanced tactical and technological specifications and technical characteristics than the Hwasong-14 missiles tested in July, and marks the completion of the DPRK's rocket weaponry development, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The launch, the first since Sept 15, when the DPRK fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan into the Pacific Ocean, has drawn strong condemnation from countries and international organizations.

Trump spoke by phone with the leaders of Japan and the Republic of Korea separately about the missile launch, the White House said. During their talks, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed their commitment to combating the DPRK's nuclear threat, while Trump and his ROK counterpart Moon Jae-in in another phone call condemned the DPRK for developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the launch, saying it is "a clear violation of Security Council resolutions".

The Security Council was to hold an urgent meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Pyongyang's latest launch.

To help defuse the situation, China has proposed a dual-track approach, seeking to advance denuclearization and establish a peace mechanism in parallel. The "suspension for suspension" proposal calls on Pyongyang to pause its missile and nuclear activities, while calling on Washington to put its joint military drills with Seoul on hold.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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