China regrets rising tensions on Korean peninsula

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said on Monday that after two months of relative calm on the Korean peninsula, the resurfacing of tensions was regrettable.

Wang, speaking to reporters at a joint news conference with his Mongolian counterpart, said that China has an open attitude on solutions to the North Korean nuclear issue, but that parties should be consultative.

In late November, North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile yet, putting the continental U.S. within range and increasing pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump to deal with the nuclear-armed nation.

North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country called Trump “insane” on Sunday and said air drills between the U.S. and the South would “push the already acute situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war”.

Similarly, on Nov. 29, China’s Foreign Ministry has expressed what it called “grave concern and opposition” to North Korea’s latest missile launch in an unusual rebuke of its neighbour and ally.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the country hoped “all parties would act cautiously to preserve peace and stability.’’

The comments come after North Korea launched yet another intercontinental ballistic missile, which it claimed was capable of reaching the U.S mainland.

The ministry’s spokesman added that China would continue to uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and would work for “settlement on the North Korea nuclear issue.”

The missile, the Hwasong-15, was ordered by leader Kim Jong Un and is the country’s the most powerful missile so far, according to a state televised broadcast.

There are widespread fears that North Korea is in the latter stages of developing nuclear warheads that could be attached to its ballistic missiles and aimed at the U.S. and its allies.

Although North Korea claims to have already developed and successfully tested such weapons, it’s hard to independently verify what stage of the process the regime has reached as the regime is so closed and secretive.

“China will probably continue to press for diplomatic talks, arguing for the suspension of North Korean nuclear device and missile tests in exchange for the suspension of U.S.-South Korean military exercises,” Evans said in a note Wednesday. (Reuters/NAN)

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