China urges North Korea not to go further in a 'dangerous direction'

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the UN General Assembly.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the UN General Assembly.PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday (Sept 21) that negotiation remained the only solution on North Korea and warned its neighbours not to pursue their own nuclear weapons.

“There is still hope for peace and we must not give up. Negotiation is the only way out and deserves every effort,” Wang told the UN General Assembly.

“We call upon all parties to play a constructive role in easing tensions. Parties should meet one another halfway by addressing one another’s legitimate concerns,” he said.

 

He was speaking two days after US President Donald Trump in his own address threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the Chinese ally attacks.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said it would be pointless to start another round of dialogue after North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test and test-fired missiles over Japan.

China, the only Asian nation whose nuclear arsenal is recognised under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, warned against proliferation amid growing, but still far-off, calls for South Korea and Japan to develop their own weapons to defend themselves.

“There should be no new nuclear weapons states, whether it is in the north or the south of the (Korean) peninsula, whether it is in North-east Asia or elsewhere in the world,” Wang said.

China has by far the most influence over North Korea, providing an economic lifeline, but fears the consequences if Kim Jong-Un’s state collapses.

Wang, whose country has faced repeated US calls to take a tougher line, said in his address that North Korea should “not go further along a dangerous direction.”