‘Tip­ping point’ on Penin­sula near, says Wang

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI in Manila zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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