News / Asia

China Urges Restraint After N. Korea Nullification Threat

FILE - A North Korean soldier looks through a window as a South Korean stands guard  at the U.N. truce village building that sits on the border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in Panmunjon, South Korea. FILE - A North Korean soldier looks through a window as a South Korean stands guard at the U.N. truce village building that sits on the border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in Panmunjon, South Korea.
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FILE - A North Korean soldier looks through a window as a South Korean stands guard  at the U.N. truce village building that sits on the border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in Panmunjon, South Korea.
FILE - A North Korean soldier looks through a window as a South Korean stands guard at the U.N. truce village building that sits on the border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in Panmunjon, South Korea.
VOA News
China is urging restraint after North Korea announced it would nullify the Korean War armistice with South Korea if Seoul goes ahead with plans to conduct annual war exercises with the United States.

"The Korean War armistice is significant in terms of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing Wednesday.

Hua said China hoped that all parties would refrain from actions that could further escalate tensions.

"In the long-term, we believe that a peace mechanism should replace the armistice," Hua said. She added that negotiations among relevant parties should be the means to achieving the goal of peace and stability in the region. 

Pyongyang has issued similar threats before, also timed to coincide with the annual joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercises.

On March 5, U.N. diplomats said the United States and China reached a tentative deal on new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear weapons test. After the February test, China’s official stance was to “resolutely” oppose North Korean testing. 

North Korea is already under tough sanctions as a result of its previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. In January, the U.N. Security Council expanded those sanctions in response to a December rocket launch.

China is North Korea's top ally and trading partner and supplies the impoverished country with crucial economic and humanitarian assistance. China also is seen as one of the few nations able to influence Pyongyang.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Philly from: Texas
March 06, 2013 1:32 PM
Simply invite Dennis Rodman to come down and play some hoops on the bow of one of the ships in the exercise. Kim Jong-un might just break down and want to be dropped off on deck for a game, be interesting to see.

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