Pyongyang’s nuclear plan op­posed

China out­lines its po­si­tion af­ter the DPRK test-fires mis­sile launched from sub­ma­rine

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAIHONG in Tokyo and ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing

China opposes the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea’s nuclear de­vel­op­ment pro­gram, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said on Wed­nes­day af­ter an an­nual meet­ing with coun­ter­parts from Ja­pan and the Repub­lic of Korea.

The DPRK test-fired a sub­ma­rine-launched bal­lis­tic mis­sile on Wed­nes­day morn­ing be­fore the long-awaited meet­ing be­tween Wang, Ja­pan’s Fu­mio Kishida and the ROK’s Yun Byung-se in Tokyo.

Wang said China will con­tinue to strive for a nuclear-free Korean Penin­sula and per­sist in set­tling such is­sues through di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion.

The test was made af­ter Pyongyang said on Mon­day it would launch a “pre-emp­tive nuclear strike” against the on­go­ing an­nual US-ROK mil­i­tary ex­er­cise sched­uled for Mon­day to Sept 2.

The mis­sile test was the lat­est in a se­ries of launches by Pyongyang in de­fi­ance of United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions.

Wang said China opposes any words and deeds that cause ten­sions on the Korean Penin­sula and all ac­tions that vi­o­late Res­o­lu­tion 2270, which was passed unan­i­mously by the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on March 2 to ex­pand the scope of sanctions against the DPRK.

Zhang Lian­gui, an ex­pert on Korean stud­ies at the Party School of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, said Wed­nes­day’s mis­sile launch pro­vided a new topic for the tri­lat­eral meet­ing.

The com­ments made by the three key diplo­mats — mostly reaf­firm­ing their of­fi­cial po­si­tions— are “still of value”.

Wang’s mes­sage is that although Bei­jing is an­gry at Seoul’s plan to in­tro­duce the pow­er­ful Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense an­timis­sile sys­tem, which may tech­ni­cally put part of China un­der the sys­tem’s radar, “China has not changed its po­si­tion on the Korean Penin­sula nuclear is­sue”, Zhang said.

Ad­dress­ing tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, Wang said that China, Ja­pan and the ROK — three large economies — should shoul­der im­por­tant

re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in pro­mot­ing East Asia’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity.

Wang said the three coun­tries need to ac­cu­mu­late po­lit­i­cal mu­tual trust, con­duct prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion, en­hance peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes and pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

Kishida and Yun said their coun­tries sup­port China in its ef­forts to make the G20 Lead­ers Sum­mit in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Sept 4 and 5 a suc­cess.

Wang urged East Asian na­tions to play up the lead­ing roles played by China, Ja­pan and the ROK to re­al­ize an East Asia Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity and fa­cil­i­tate the build­ing of an “Asian Com­mu­nity of Shared Fate”.

The diplo­mats agreed to ac­cel­er­ate talks on a free trade agree­ment among their coun­tries and to en­sure that ne­go­ti­a­tions on a Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship are com­pleted in Septem­ber as sched­uled.

Feng Wei, a pro­fes­sor of Ja­panese stud­ies at Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai, said the three coun­tries started to de­lib­er­ate on set­ting up the tri­lat­eral free trade area early in 2002, but this has yet to take shape be­cause of many fac­tors.

KIM KYUNG-HOON / REUTERS

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe (right) greets Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­terWang Yi (cen­ter) and Repub­lic of Korea For­eign Min­is­ter Yun Byung-se at their meet­ing in Tokyo onWed­nes­day.

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