Cheer for Koreans to get their act together

China | Mar 8, 2018
China has welcomed an agreement by North and South Korea to hold a summit, urging them to seize the opportunity to promote denuclearization of the peninsula.

That follows a positive outcome this week of a meeting between South Korean envoys and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

They agreed to a meeting between Kim and South Korea's President Moon Jae In in the Demilitarized Zone in April.

Pyongyang is also said to be ready to halt nuclear and missile tests and consider abandoning the programs altogether if the United States agrees not to attack or overthrow the regime.

Backing the conciliatory effort in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: "China is willing to continue to play its due role to this end."

Earlier, before any announcement, Geng said interactions between the Koreas should be expanded to include the United States.

That fits with China earlier urging the United States, Japan and South Korea to suspend joint military drills in the region in return for North Korea halting nuclear activities.

In Washington, President Donald Trump welcomed Pyongyang's offer as positive while crediting strong US action on sanctions and big help from China for a potential diplomatic breakthrough.

He also did not rule out a meeting with Kim, saying: "We have come a long way at least rhetorically with North Korea. It would be a great thing for the world." But he added: "We are going to do something, one way or the other . . . and not let that situation fester."


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March 2018