China urges diplomacy to U.S., both Koreas

BEIJING (BestGrowthStock) – China is determined to prevent a repetition of this week’s violence on the Korean peninsula, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Friday after meeting Pyongyang’s ambassador to Beijing.

Yang, who also spoke by phone to his U.S. and South Korean counterparts on Friday, said China was “deeply worried” about Tuesday’s developments, when North Korea shelled a South Korean island.

“The top priority now is to keep the situation under control and to ensure such events do not happen again,” the ministry said in a statement.

Yang, in his meeting in Beijing with North Korean ambassador Ji Jae Ryong, as well as the conversations with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, urged calm and a swift resumption of dialogue to ease rising tensions.

Yang also said all relevant parties should “handle the matter responsibly” to ensure stability on the Korean peninsula.

Earlier in the week, the United States said it would send an aircraft carrier group to the Yellow Sea for military exercises with the South Korean navy starting on Sunday. This has unsettled China at a time when Washington is pressing it to rein in its ally and neighbor in the North.

The exercises were planned before the shelling, but intended to send a signal to North Korea for what Washington sees as Pyongyang’s bellicose behavior.

In a separate statement on Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry said it opposed military acts in its exclusive economic zone, an area up to 200 nautical miles from a country’s coast.

(Reporting by Fayen Wong and Michael Martina, editing by David Stamp)

China urges diplomacy to U.S., both Koreas