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China calls for direct talks on N Korea
September 14, 2016, 12:32 am

The leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un (front) has vowed to speed up the nuclear and ballistic missile programs [Xinhua]

The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un (front) has vowed to speed up the nuclear and ballistic missile programs [Xinhua]

China’s foreign ministry has said that the current crisis in the Korean Peninsula can only be resolved through direct negotiations which ensure the benefit of all parties involved.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference late Tuesday that China viewed as counterproductive any unilateral action based on one’s self-interest, which will not help resolve security concerns “but will only aggravate the tension, complicate the issue, and make the situation more difficult”.

She reiterated that China will continue to take part in discussions in the Security Council, which is due to meet on the issue on Friday, one week after Pyongyang’s controversial nuclear test.

China’s call for calm came as the Pentagon announced that two of its B-1 bombers flew over South Korea accompanied by fighter jets in a show of force and warning against North Korea.

So far – and despite United Nations Security Council condemnation of its illegal ballistic missile tests – the government in Pyongyang appears to be defiant.

“Neither sanctions nor provocation nor pressure can ever bring down the position of the DPRK as a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, and highhanded political and military provocations of the enemies will only invite a merciless nuclear strike which will lead them to a final ruin,” North Korea’s state media said.

Meanwhile, the South Korean military is on high alert but says it expects another Pyongyang nuclear test soon.

Reports in South Korean media have cited military preparations to “level” Pyongyang should it launch an attack against Seoul.

Second nuclear test this year

Early on September 9, North Korea conducted its second – and likely – strongest nuclear test this year (the fifth ever), coming at the heels of the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.

North Korean state television announced that the country had conducted a “high level” nuclear test explosion, hailing the scientists and engineers of the country’s Worker’s Party.

US President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Guen-Hye both lambasted the test.

China’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack in a statement that said, “[today] the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, despite universal opposition from the international community, conducted another nuclear test, to which the Chinese government is firmly opposed.”

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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