China's foreign minister says force cannot resolve North Korea issue, expects opportunity for talks

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, on April 13, 2017.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, on April 13, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday (April 13) that military force cannot resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula and he expects an opportunity to return to talks will arise amid current tension.

Wang, speaking to reporters following a meeting with the Palestinian foreign minister in Beijing, also said that whoever provoked the North Korea situation would have to assume historical responsibility for it.

On Thursday, an influential state-backed Chinese newspaper also said the best option for North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un was to give up its nuclear programme.

“As soon as North Korea complies with China’s declared advice and suspends nuclear activities ... China will actively work to protect the security of a denuclearised North Korean nation and regime,” said an editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the Communist party’s People’s Daily.

With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area, tensions on the Korean peninsula grew this week amid concern that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

 
 

President Donald Trump has diverted the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group towards the Korean peninsula, which could take more than a week to arrive, in a show of force aimed at deterring North Korea from conducting another nuclear test or launching more missiles to coincide with major commemorative events.

The possibility of US military action against North Korea in response to such tests gained traction after the US Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack.