Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, February 19, 2003

China, DPRK Agree Dialogue is Right Way to Resolve Nuclear Standoff

China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed that dialogue is the right way to resolve the current US-DPRK nuclear stand-off.


China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed that dialogue is the right way to resolve the current US-DPRK nuclear stand-off.

This was the message conveyed by DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting in Beijing Tuesday, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue.

Zhang told a regular briefing that Paek, en route to Malaysia to attend the 13th summit of the Non-aligned Movement, exchanged views with Wang on bilateral relations and the nuclear issue.

"Both sides have said that the current issue on the Korean Peninsula should be resolved peacefully through dialogue,'' Zhang said.

The DPRK Tuesday threatened to pull out of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

A spokesman from the Korean People's Army's mission to Punmunjom was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying "if the US side continues violating and misusing the armistice agreement as it pleases, there will be no need for (the North) to remain bound to the armistice agreement uncomfortably.''

Zhang said: "The crux of the issue now is to ensure the non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the DPRK's concern over its security should also be taken into consideration.

"We hope related parties will keep on with their efforts to bring about conditions for dialogue and prevent the escalation of tension.''

However, Zhang did not specify if the armistice issue was touched upon during Paek and Wang's meeting.

Zhang also confirmed Tuesday that US Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit China "shortly,'' but declined to release the schedule of the visit.

Zhang reiterated the importance of resolving the Iraqi issue within the framework of the United Nations (UN).

"Room still remains for more efforts under the UN Security Council Resolution No 1441,'' Zhang said Tuesday.

"Weapons inspection should still go on under the resolution.''

She said the next step for the UN Security Council should be consulted with member states.

A possible war with Iraq has aroused public protest around the world. Hundreds of Chinese scholars submitted a petition to the US Embassy in Beijing Tuesday, opposing the potential war.

Embassy staff have confirmed receiving the petition, but would not comment about the matter.

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