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Korean Peninsula restraint urged

By Li Xiaokun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-15 05:37

Beijing urged Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang on Friday to stop irritating and threatening each other to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from sliding to the point of being irreparable.

"There has been heightened tension between the United States, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The precarious situation deserves our attention and concern," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a joint news conference with his visiting French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements and deeds to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from becoming irreversible."

"Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but loss all around. No one can become a winner," Wang said.

He added that "no matter who it is, if it wants to make war or trouble on the Korean Peninsula, it must take the historical responsibility and pay the due price".

Wang said China would be willing to help facilitate efforts by the sides to reach out to each other in whatever form.

DPRK Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday, "We will go to war" if the US chooses to provoke it.

He said the US is making trouble in the region, noting that the US has moved an aircraft carrier into the region and has participated in its largest-ever joint military exercises with the ROK.

Han added that Pyongyang will continue developing its nuclear program and conduct its next nuclear test whenever its leaders see fit. Pyongyang has launched several ballistic missiles recently.

In the ROK, Yonhap News Agency said on Friday that the DPRK might hold its largest military parade in history on Saturday, the anniversary of the birthday of former leader Kim Il-sung, or on April 25, when its Army will mark its anniversary.

Some new advanced weapons, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, might show up, Yonhap said.

Wang Junsheng, an Asia-Pacific studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said risks of conflicts on the Korean Peninsula are "higher than at any time in recent years".

"Both Washington and Pyongyang are very harsh and show no signs of stepping back. And Trump has felt urgency to push on the issue," he said.

He said Foreign Minister Wang's remarks on Friday showed China's sincerity in pushing for a dialogue in any form.

At Friday's news conference, Wang Yi also said China is optimistic about the future of Beijing's relations with Paris, no matter which candidate wins the coming presidential election in France, since keeping good relations with China has been a mainstream consensus in all walks of French society. Ayrault said his decision to visit China before the election aims to emphasize the importance and the firmness of the bilateral partnership. The first round of voting will start on April 23.

He also vowed to take measures to ensure security of Chinese tourists and citizens living in France, following the death of a Chinese national who was shot by a policeman at his home in Paris in late March.

China's national airline, Air China, has canceled some flights from Beijing to Pyongyang due to poor demand, but it has not suspended all flights there, it said on Friday night, denying a report by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

CCTV had reported that all flights run by the airline between the two cities were to be suspended indefinitely.

Air China said subsequent flights would be scheduled according to ticket sales.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault after a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Friday.

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