Pyongyang, Washington key to nuclear dialogue: Chinese envoy

Seoul, May 3 (EFE).- China’s envoy for Korean Peninsula affairs on Tuesday expressed concern about the increase in tension in the region and insisted that Pyongyang and Washington hold the key to resuming dialogue.

After his meeting in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk, Liu Xiaoming said that China is willing to play “a positive role” in resolving the situation, but it is the North Korean and United States governments that have to make a real effort to revive talks that have been stalled since 2019.

“It is important to take a comprehensive approach, deal with both the symptoms and root cause of the problem, and address the legit and reasonable concerns of all parties in a balanced way,” he added, according to Yonhap news agency, without directly mentioning North Korea.

This is Liu’s first visit to South Korea since he took office in April last year, since which tension has increased on the peninsula.

“China is concerned about the tense situation on the Peninsula. We call on all parties to stay cool-headed and exercise restraint, and we disapprove (of) actions by any party that could escalate tension,” he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

North Korea, which has remained closed to the outside world since the Covid-19 pandemic began and does not appear to have a vaccination plan in sight, has not responded to invitations to dialogue from the US and has meanwhile approved a weapons modernization plan that has produced a record number of missile tests so far this year.

In addition, satellites have been capturing what appear to be preparations for what would be the first North Korean nuclear test since 2017.

Liu is also scheduled to meet later Tuesday with the Choi Young-joon, the South Korean vice minister for unification, the portfolio in charge of relations with the North. EFE


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