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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:04, October 21, 2006
China says "no other choice but diplomacy" on Korean nuclear issue
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday said "there is no other choice but diplomacy" when addressing the Korean peninsula nuclear issue.

"The Korean peninsula nuclear issue now stands at the crossroads and what course to follow is directly related to the peace and stability in east Asia and the world at large," Wen told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"There is no other choice but diplomacy and dialogue," Wen said.

The premier expressed optimism while emphasizing the seriousness of the issue.

"All parties should, while realizing the severity of the situation, see hopes and try to solve the crisis in a responsible manner," Wen said, adding that to restart the six-party talks as soon as possible is an effective way to solving the nuclear issue.

The United States is willing to resume the six-party talks at any time, but meanwhile the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) must scrap its nuclear weapons, Rice said.

Rice believed that an appropriate way to peacefully solving the nuclear issue could be found through joint efforts of all parties.

Rice, in a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, said the nuclear test announcement of the DPRK was "a serious provocation" and it "poses threat" to international peace and security.

The six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue remained stalled since the last round of meeting was held in Beijing last November.

The last round of talks, involving China, DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan, ended up with a Chairman's Statement, in which the parties concerned agreed to resume the talks as soon as possible.

Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan earlier also met with Rice. Tang visited Pyongyang as special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday and Thursday. Tang conveyed Hu's message to the DPRK leader Kim Jong Il.

"Fortunately my visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) this time has not been in vain," Tang told Rice at the start of their meeting.

In talks with her Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing, Rice said they talked about "the importance of leaving open a path of negotiations of the six-party talks."

Rice's visit came amid international efforts to ease the tension arising from the DPRK nuclear test on October 9.

China is the third leg of Rice's four-nation tour, which has taken her to Japan and the Republic of Korea. She is also scheduled to visit Russia following her China trip.

Source: Xinhua

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