Foreign ministry welcomes chance of US-North Korea talks

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/26 22:28:39

China on Monday welcomed the possibility of dialogue after a North Korean official expressed willingness to talk to the US on Sunday, and reiterated that dialogue will be instrumental in crafting a resolution to the peninsula nuclear issue.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily press conference that China has stressed many times that direct talks between the US and North Korea is indispensible for substantially addressing the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

China hopes that all parties will work together toward the same goal, continue supporting the inter-Korea thaw and safeguard the hard-earned détente, Lu said, while adding that China also hopes the US and North Korea will take positive steps in terms of conducting talks, moving forward to a peaceful resolution of Korean Peninsula issues.

Kim Yong-chol, North Korea's point man on inter-Korean affairs, said on Monday that Pyongyang is willing to hold talks with Washington, noting the door for dialogue between the two remains open, South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday, quoting an unnamed official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa-dae.

Kim made the remarks during a meeting with Chung Eui-yong, chief of South Korea's National Security Council and the top security advisor to President Moon Jae-in.

Kim's remarks came one day after he told the South Korean president in a meeting that the North has enough willingness to hold bilateral talks with the US.

The White House responded with a statement Sunday that "there is a brighter path available for North Korea if it chooses denuclearization," while noting that "in the meantime, the United States and the world must continue to make clear that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are a dead end."

Zhang Huizhi, a professor at Northeast Asian Studies College of Jilin University, took Pyongyang's call for dialogue with the US as a sign of growing confidence in its nuclear weapons technology.

Pyongyang is also trying to take a breather amid severe sanctions, Zhang said.

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