Tuesday, April 10, 2012

China urges "restraint" over N.Korea rocket launch

BEIJING: China on Tuesday called on all parties to "exercise restraint" and avoid an escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula ahead of a planned rocket launch by North Korea.

The comments, at a foreign ministry briefing, came after the US State Department said it was urging China to press North Korea not to go ahead with the launch, seen as a disguised missile test.

"China has expressed its concerns and worries about the development of the situation," said ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.

"We call on parties concerned to stay calm, exercise restraint and avoid escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula."

The poor but nuclear-armed North attracted international condemnation after it announced a plan to launch a satellite sometime from April 12 to 16, to mark the centenary of the birth of late founding president Kim Il-Sung.

Pyongyang insists the launch is a peaceful space project, but the United States and South Korea view it as a disguised missile test in breach of UN resolutions.

South Korea has vowed to shoot down the rocket if it strays into its territory. Japan has said it may do likewise.

China is considered to have the most influence with North Korea as a member of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks that include those two countries as well as the United States, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

- AFP/cc

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Source From Channel News Asia

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