China, DPRK to build new bridges for re­lief sup­plies

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Bei­jing and Py­ongyang held their third meet­ing of a joint bor­der com­mis­sion on Tues­day, agree­ing to build new bridges over the Tu­men River.

The meet­ing was co-chaired by vis­it­ing Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen­min and his coun­ter­part Pak My­ong-guk, from the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea.

“The move is a hu­man­i­tar­ian res­cue ef­fort, and also the obli­ga­tion of China, as the DPRK’s neigh­bor and a re­spon­si­ble coun­try,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said at a news con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Lu, the rea­son be­hind the move is that the DPRK’s heavy ve­hi­cles trans­port­ing re­lief goods pur­chased from China have been un­able to get through af­ter strong rainfall caused by Ty­phoon Lion­rock in Au­gust dev­as­tated hun­dreds of homes, leav­ing a large num­ber of peo­ple home­less. The river marks part of the bound­ary be­tween China, the DPRK and Rus­sia.

Liu’s four-day visit, which be­gan on Mon­day, has fo­cused at­ten­tion on whether Bei­jing is talk­ing to the DPRK about its re­peated nu­clear tests and mis­sile launches.

The trip is the first by a Chi­nese diplo­mat since the DPRK con­ducted a nu­clear test in Septem­ber.

The For­eign Min­istry spokesman on Wed­nes­day also dis­missed re­marks by US Di­rec­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence James Clap­per that ef­forts to con­vince the DPRK to give up its nu­clear pro­gram are a “lost cause”.

“I don’t know what Clap­per’s

The move is a hu­man­i­tar­ian res­cue ef­fort, and also the obli­ga­tion of China ... as a re­spon­si­ble coun­try.” Lu Kang, For­eign Min­istry spokesman

com­ments are based on, but the fact is, it is the Six-Party Talks that made the DPRK de­cide to aban­don all of its nu­clear plans. ... On the con­trary, it is dur­ing the sus­pen­sion of the talks that it has re­peat­edly con­ducted nu­clear tests,” Lu said.

China still be­lieves that the Korean Penin­sula is­sue can only be solved through di­a­logue.

Lu also said China en­cour­ages parties to the penin­sula sit­u­a­tion to en­gage in con­tact, con­sul­ta­tion and di­a­logue, no mat­ter in which form.

Wang Jun­sheng, an Asia-Pa­cific stud­ies re­searcher at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said Liu’s visit has come at a time when the sit­u­a­tion on the Korean Penin­sula is del­i­cate.

“The visit shows that the com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween Bei­jing and Py­ongyang are still be­ing main­tained de­spite their dif­fer­ences of opin­ion, and the face-to-face meet­ing also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to man­age and con­trol pos­si­ble cri­sis,” he said.

LU RUI / XIN­HUA

Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen­min (mid­dle) and Hong Son Ok, a se­nior DPRK leg­isla­tive of­fi­cial (right) read names of Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Vol­un­teers as they mark the 66th an­niver­sary of their join­ing DPRK sol­diers in the Korean War (1950-53).

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