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Asia-pacific

China urges diplomacy in Korean standoff

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-26

China urged North and South Korea, as well as the United States, to work to restore dialogue and avoid an escalation of violence in the Korean peninsula. The North shelled a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing two civilians.

REUTERS - China is determined to prevent a a repetition of this week’s violence on the Korean peninsula, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Friday after meeting Pyongyang’s ambassador to Beijing.

Yang, who also spoke by phone to his U.S. and South Korean counterparts on Friday, said China was “deeply worried” about Tuesday’s developments, when North Korea shelled a South Korean island.
 
“The top priority now is to keep the situation under control and to ensure such events do not happen again,” the ministry said in a statement.
 
Bank in the island of Yeonpyeong after shelling
Yang, in his meeting in Beijing with North Korean ambassador Ji Jae Ryong, as well as the conversations with U.S.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, urged calm and a swift resumption of dialogue to ease rising tensions.
 
Yang also said all relevant parties should “handle the matter responsibly” to ensure stability on the Korean peninsula.
 
Earlier in the week, the United States said it would send an aircraft carrier group to the Yellow Sea for military exercises with the South Korean navy starting on Sunday. This has unsettled China at a time when Washington is pressing it to rein in its ally and neighbour in the North.
 
The exercises were planned before the shelling, but intended to send a signal to North Korea for what Washington sees as Pyongyang’s bellicose behaviour.
 
In a separate statement on Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry said it opposed military acts in its exclusive economic zone, an area up to 200 nautical miles from a country’s coast.

Date created : 2010-11-26

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