Chinese, Russian FMs call for restraint on Korean Peninsula

10:29, December 19, 2010      

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday night called for restraint from all parties concerned to avoid escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula.

During a phone conversation with Lavrov, Yang, who is accompanying Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on a visit to Pakistan, said the situation on the peninsula has become tense recently and may further deteriorate.

China firmly opposes any actions to cause tension and worsen the situation, and demands both sides on the peninsula show calmness and restraint, carry out dialogue and contact, and completely avoid any actions that would fuel the tension, Yang said.

China hopes other concerned parties would do more to help ease the situation on the peninsula, he added.

Yang said China insists that all parties concerned conduct dialogue and consultation, and seek a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

China is willing to keep close communication and coordination with Russia to prevent the situation from deteriorating and getting out of control, and help maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

Lavrov, for his part, said Russia attaches high importance to the developments on the peninsula, adding his country has expressed great concern to relevant countries and demanded utmost calmness and restraint from all parties concerned.

Russia is willing to work with China to make active efforts to reduce the tension on the peninsula, he said.

South Korea has declared plans for a live shell artillery drill in the tense waters southwest of Yeonpyeong Island on a selected date from Dec. 18-21 depending on weather conditions.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday urged Seoul to immediately stop its plans for the shelling exercise, warning it would deliver a second and third "unpredicted self-defense counterattack" that would be bigger and more powerful than the previous one.

South Korea and the DPRK exchanged artillery fires near the Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, which killed four South Koreans.

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