CHINA / National

China tables UN statement on Korea missile launch
Updated: 2006-07-11 08:44

North Korea launched at least six missiles early last Wednesday and fired off a seventh some 12 hours later. The missiles included a long-range Taepodong-2, which some experts have said could hit Alaska.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters no vote had been scheduled on Japan's resolution, "We will reassess on a daily basis whether to proceed."

He called China's draft statement "manifestly insufficient". Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry added, "The text we were offered as an alternative didn't really do the job."

Wang Guangya said that while Beijing objected to North Korea's actions, the main controversy was a "lack of confidence among the parties," with North Korea insisting others had not lived up to their commitments.

He asked council members to show "some flexibility" in their position.

Over the weekend, Beijing's Foreign Ministry telephoned all Security Council members in what one council member said was "heavy lobbying" against a vote on the Japanese resolution.

US envoy lands in China for N.Korea crisis talks

The top U.S. envoy on North Korea flew to Beijing on Tuesday on an unscheduled visit as efforts intensified to find a diplomatic solution to a crisis sparked by Pyongyang's test-launch of missiles last week.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who had been in the North Korean capital, returned to Beijing on Tuesday, for talks with the U.S. envoy, Christopher Hill.

"I was asked to come back to Beijing to meet with the Chinese authorities and talk to them about how their diplomatic effort is doing in Pyongyang," Hill told reporters at Beijing airport.

"As you know the vote in the Security Council has been postponed while the Chinese endeavour to engage with the DPRK (North Korea). So I want to be close to that process. So I hope to have some meetings this afternoon to talk to the Chinese to see how they see that going ... Obviously we are in a rather crucial period."

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, who began a six-day visit to North Korea on Monday, was apparently still there. And North Korean official Yang Hyong Sop arrived in Beijing for a five-day visit that would include a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Xinhua news agency said.

Hill rushed to northeast Asia late last week, visiting Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo in an effort to forge a unified response to Wednesday's multiple missile launches, which have ratcheted up tension and exposed fault lines in responses by regional powers.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday that she hoped Beijing could persuade Pyongyang to return to stalled six-party talks on its nuclear programmes, which also involve South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States.

The United States and Japan also want North Korea to reinstate a moratorium on its missile launches.

In another sign of the search for a diplomatic solution, South Korea planned to focus on the missile launch and the North's nuclear programmes in North-South ministerial talks scheduled in the port city of Pusan from Tuesday.

North Korean officials were due in Pusan later in the day for discussions originally due to concentrate on economic matters.

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