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China reaffirms commitment to stability on Korean Peninsula

By Cui Haipei and Li Lianxing (China Daily)

08:23, March 30, 2012

A US Marine and a Republic of Korea soldier aim their machine guns to guard a US Marine's amphibious assault vehicle after a landing operation during the joint US-ROK military exercises south of Seoul on Thursday. (China Daily/Agencies)

China on Thursday reiterated that it serves the common interests of all parties involved in safeguarding the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, and in maintaining momentum to improve relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States.

"The Chinese side thinks highly of the consensus reached by the DPRK and the US on Feb 29, and supports them to keep improving relations through dialogue. We hope all parties will work together to contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing.

Hong's comments came after the US announced on Wednesday that it would suspend its planned nutritional food aid to the DPRK over the latter's insistence on a planned satellite launch.

"It reflects their lack of desire to follow through on their international commitments, so we have been forced to suspend our activities to provide nutritional assistance to the DPRK," Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, said at a US congressional hearing.

The Pentagon official's comments marked a tougher stance and made clear that plans to deliver aid had already been scrapped, said AFP.

International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor confirmed on Thursday that the agency was still in talks with the DPRK about a possible visit by inspectors.

"Consultations are ongoing," she said. "There is no decision on the visit, including on whether (IAEA head Yukiya Amamo) will visit or not."

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