China calls for compromise on N. Korea talks
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:01 pm
BEIJING (AP) — China called Thursday for a compromise among the parties to talks aimed at disarming North Korea’s nuclear program in order to get the negotiations back on track.
China hosted the six-nation talks before North Korea walked away from them last year in protest over the international condemnation that followed its testing of a long-range missile.
Prospects for restarting negotiations were undermined further after a South Korean warship sank in March, killing 46 sailors. Seoul and Washington accuse North Korea of torpedoing the vessel, while the North denies involvement and has threatened harsh retaliation if punished.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu urged all sides to “keep calm and exercise restraint and meet each other halfway.”
China has sent its nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, to visit other members of the talks. Wu is now in the United States after stops in North and South Korea and Japan. Later he will visit Russia.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told China President Hu Jintao during a secretive trip that ended Monday that he wanted to resume the talks, according to Chinese state media.
But U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that North Korea must stop its belligerent behavior and fulfill past nuclear disarmament commitments before there could be more talks.
Japan also rejected North Korea’s apparent interest in a quick resumption of the talks. In a meeting with Wu, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said conditions for talks were not right considering the increased tensions in the region over the sinking of the South Korean warship.
Published in The Messenger 9.2.10