China attempts to mitigate North Korea’s nuclear move

China has called for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the avoidance of any actions that could escalate tension in the region. The move follows Pyongyang’s decision to reopen nuclear facilities and its threats to launch long-range rockets.

Experts said Pyongyang’s tactics are aimed at spurring talks with the United States, but they have also struck a blow to relations with China.

China is planning an international seminar in Beijing on Friday with parties involved in the six-nation talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear programme, hoping to bring the issue back to the negotiating table. The six-nation talks have been stalled since early 2009.

Zhu Feng, director of the Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University, said Pyongyang’s decision to reopen its nuclear facilities will aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and compel the UN to consider new sanctions against the country. “If so, China is very likely to support the sanctions,” he said.

Shi Yongming, an Asia-Pacific studies research fellow at the China Institute of International Relations, said, “China could offer a packaged denuclearisation plan, including measures to help economic development, as a solution to the problem.”

[China Daily]

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