China is calling for all parties in the North Korean denuclearization talks to resume the long-stalled negotiations.
Speaking at an academic forum in Beijing, Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on all sides to take a “responsible attitude” and refrain from any actions that could worsen tensions both on the Korean peninsula and the whole of northeast Asia.
The forum was organized to mark the 10th anniversary of a joint agreement reached between Pyongyang and five world powers — China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States — to remove all nuclear weapons from the peninsula. The five nations were negotiating a deal to provide energy assistance to the North, in exchange for the North’s dismantling of its nuclear program.
But the negotiations collapsed in 2008 when North Korea refused to allow inspections to verify compliance and declared the deal was void. It has since conducted three nuclear tests, the last one in 2013, and recently said it has restarted operations at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon.
The North has also hinted at plans to launch a long-range missile next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party.
The U.S., South Korea, and Japan have warned the North against conducting the rocket launch, saying the move would be a violation of United Nations resolutions banning Pyongyang from conducting ballistic missile tests.