‘Tipping point’ on Peninsula near, says Wang
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is approaching “a tipping point for a crisis as well as a turning point for making decisions to return to peaceful dialogue”, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.
Wang made the remarks when meeting with Ri Yong-ho, his counterpart with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Manila, Philippines.
Before their meeting on the sidelines of a series of foreign ministers’ meetings involving the 10 Southeast Asian countries, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Sunday sanctioning the DPRK’s test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
Foreign ministers of the ASEAN countries released a statement after their meeting on Saturday, reiterating their “grave concerns” over the escalation of tensions on the peninsula.
Wang said China urges the DPRK not to take actions that run against the Security Council’s resolution.
Beijing also urged Washington and Seoul not to worsen tension, Wang added.
All the parties should exercise restraint, grasp the positive signals released by relevant parties and make the right choices that are responsible to the people of their countries as well as for regional peace, Wang said.
Currently, the Korean Peninsula situation is complicated and sensitive, which has affected the relationship between China and the DPRK, Wang noted.
Ri reiterated the DPRK’s stance on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying Pyongyang is willing to maintain communication with China in this regard.
During Wang’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov later in the day, both sides agreed that the top priority is to stop the tension from escalating round after round.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the two sides keep provoking each other, spiraling tensions upward between them — Pyongyang against Washington and Seoul.
What China has called for is to cool down through political means, and many regional countries, including China and Russia, support a political settlement, Ruan said.
When asked earlier on Sunday about the latest Security Council resolution, Wang said sanctions are necessary but “never the ultimate goal”.
Wang said the resolution aims to bring parties concerned back to the negotiating table so as to seek a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.