China Urges Dialogue to Resolve Korea Tensions
Stephanie Ho | Beijing 30 November 2010
China stresses that it believes all parties involved in negotiating the North Korean nuclear crisis should come together to resolve the latest tensions through dialogue.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei Tuesday told reporters that China wants the latest Korean tensions resolved through negotiations.
Hong says China believes it is imperative to bring the issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible.
The current crisis was sparked one week ago, when North Korea fired artillery on a South Korean island and Seoul's forces returned fire. Four South Koreans died.
China has proposed emergency talks bringing together the heads of delegations to the six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.
Two countries in the group, South Korea and Japan, have responded coolly. The United States says it is consulting with those two allies, but also has said it is not interested in talks with North Korea unless Pyongyang shows it is serious about meeting obligations to end its nuclear programs.
The foreign ministers of the three countries will meet next week in Washington.
On Tuesday, the Chinese spokesman gave no specific confirmation that North Korea would attend the talks.
Hong said only China believes that parties concerned will take its proposal seriously and make a positive reaction.
China is North Korea's closest ally. The United States and South Korea have called on China to do more to rein in North Korea.
The head of North Korea's parliament began a visit to China Tuesday. Hong says the North Korean official will meet with the head of China's legislature. He says they will exchange views on bilateral relations, parliamentary cooperation and other issues.
Hong had no comment on questions about a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable recounting a conversation between South Korean and U.S. officials. Media reports say the conversation included comments that some Chinese officials do not regard North Korea as a useful ally and would not intervene if the reclusive state collapsed.
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