BEIJING, (Sputnik) – The Chinese government hopes that all countries interested in settling the North Korean nuclear issue would carefully examine Moscow and Beijing’s joint proposals on the issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said Monday.
In early July, the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries issued a joint statement regarding tension on the Korean Peninsula, suggesting that the issue be settled by Pyongyang declaring a moratorium on nuclear tests, while South Korea and the United States at the same time refrain from military drills in the region. Furthermore, the statement stressed that the parties should start negotiations and approve common principles of relations, including non-use of force and intentions to make efforts for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
“At the moment, China hopes that all the sides will seriously consider and accept China and Russia’s proposals on the settlement. They are based on ‘double freeze’ initiative and pursue the appropriate solution of Korean Peninsula’s issue,” Hua said.
According to the spokeswoman, the Chinese government calls on the all involved sides to focus their efforts on resuming the negotiation process and searching for political ways to solve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
However, when asked whether China would remain neutral if North Korea hit the waters of Guam, the diplomat refused to answer.
“The Chinese side will not answer such hypothetical questions. We hope that the situation will gradually change toward reduction in tensions,” Hua said.
The tensions surrounding North Korea have been high over recent months and have escalated further following the tightening of economic sanctions against North Korea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 5, in response to Pyongyang’s July launches of ballistic missiles.
The move prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang, which subsequently vowed to use any means possible to retaliate against the United States after the UNSC approved the new US-drafted sanctions. US President Donald Trump, in turn, warned that if North Korea continued making threats or possible actions that they would be met with “fire and fury” from the United States. Following the statement, Pyongyang said it had considered an attack near the Pacific island of Guam, where several US military bases are located.