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Beijing: Talks urgent on peninsula issue

By CAI HONG,ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-30 05:55

Beijing has pointed out the urgency of resuming peaceful dialogue to end the ongoing "vicious circle" on the Korean Peninsula after Pyongyang fired a missile that passed over Japan on Tuesday.

The missile, fired from an area near Pyongyang, landed in the Pacific Ocean after a flight of about 2,500 kilometers, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The launch was carried out amid ongoing joint military drills between the United States and the Republic of Korea on the peninsula.

Afterward, both Washington and Tokyo urged applying more pressure to Pyongyang, and, in Beijing, the Foreign Ministry called for all parties concerned to exercise restraint and treat the situation with a cool head.

"Indeed, the current situation is approaching a tipping point toward a crisis as well as a turning point that marks the opening of a gate for peaceful talks," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news conference in Beijing.

After the launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump, and they agreed that now is not the right time for dialogue with the DPRK and that, instead, increased pressure is necessary.

Trump said Washington stands 100 percent behind Japan, Kyodo News reported.

In response, Hua said the peninsula issue cannot ultimately be resolved simply by imposing pressure and sanctions, and the only right way to resolve it is to address the reasonable security concerns of all parties concerned through dialogue.

"Only by doing so can the vicious circle among the nuclear tests, missile launches (by Pyongyang) and military drills (by the US and the ROK) be terminated fundamentally," Hua said.

In response to the launch, fighter jets of the Republic of Korea conducted a live-fire drill on Tuesday in the northeastern part of the country.

Zhang Liangui, an expert in Korean studies at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said Tuesday’s missile launch further violated UN Security Council resolutions.

The danger is reaching a peak, and it is also dangerous for Washington and its allies to lose patience with peacefully resolving the issue, Zhang said. It is more necessary than ever to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, Zhang said.

This month, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution toughening sanctions on the DPRK following Pyongyang’s tests in July of what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile.

China calls for the parties concerned to pay equal attention to the part of the resolution that pushes for resumption of Six-Party Talks to help ease the tension while pressing ahead with the resolution’s section on sanctions on the DPRK, Hua said.

Zhu Feng, dean of School of International Relations of Nanjing University, said the crisis in August should be used as a chance to end the peninsula impasse.

Otherwise the chance for any further breakthrough will be even smaller as the situation reaches the tipping point, Zhu said.

Contact the writers at zhangyunbi¬@¬chinadaily.com.cn

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