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China urges nuclear talks resumption with North Korea

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivers a speech on the first day of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2017.<br />Thomas Kienzle / AFP

China on Friday urged a resumption of six-party talks with North Korea on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, saying a “negative cycle” of nuclear missile tests followed by sanctions must end.

“Today, what we see is nuclear test, sanction, nuclear test and then sanction again,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“This negative cycle should not continue. Because the ultimate end result could be something that no one can bear. It’s a situation where everyone loses,” he said.

Wang stressed that UN Security Council resolutions — including sanctions — against Pyongyang should be fully implemented, but added: “We cannot give up on seeking a resumption of talks.”

“On this point, the United States and North Korea … must quickly come to a political decision,” he said.

“We hope and call on all parties to stop taking any action that would provoke tensions.”

The North quit the now-stalled negotiations aimed at curbing its nuclear weapons programme in 2009, and soon afterwards carried out its second atomic test. The talks are hosted by China, and include South Korea, the United States, Russia, and Japan.

Beijing, the North’s main diplomatic protector and economic benefactor, wants to revive negotiations, although Washington, Seoul and Tokyo all insist Pyongyang must first take some tangible steps towards denuclearisation.

Earlier Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used his first meeting with Wang to urge Beijing to help rein in North Korea after its series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

North Korea’s latest missile was launched Sunday near the western city of Kusong and flew east about 500 kilometres (310 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), South Korea’s defence ministry has said.

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Wang Yi


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