China Welcomes US-N. Korea Deal

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei (file photo)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei (file photo)
Stephanie Ho

China is welcoming a deal between the United States and North Korea, under which Pyongyang says it will suspend nuclear tests and uranium enrichment. Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday, China hopes the agreement leads to the speedy resumption of the six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Hong says China saw the U.S.-North Korean dialogue as “serious and constructive.”  However, now he says the most important task is for all parties concerned to make concrete efforts to push forward the six-party talks process, which has been stalled for more than two years.

In addition to China, the United States and North Korea, the other members of the six-party grouping are South Korea, Japan and Russia.

The latest deal, announced Wednesday, was reached after U.S. and North Korean negotiators met for two days last week in Beijing.

The United States has agreed to provide 240,000 tons of nutritional assistance to North Korea. The White House has said the American aid is not contingent on the agreements to move forward with denuclearization.

Beijing's Renmin University international relations professor Shi Yinhong says he thinks the latest deal shows that North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong Un, will act in ways very similar to his father, who passed away in December.

He says Kim Jong Un can “play tricks” or “show flexibility” when he wants to, to obtain his objectives.  Still, Shi points to past broken agreements, saying that, although Americans have been satisfied with North Korea for a brief period, they have also been disillusioned many times.

He calls the latest agreement a “pretty big deal,” but cautions that similar agreements were reached, and then broken, when Kim Jong Il was alive.

The Chinese professor says he is not surprised that the White House is hailing the news because President Obama can show Americans that he can solve these kinds of problems, which will be important as he campaigns for re-election.

On balance, Shi says he is optimistic and views the latest moves positively.  However, he adds, he is positive only within the limits of past experience.

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Comment Sorting
by: phil
March 01, 2012 5:08 AM
upstairs is very smart person. agree with you.!

by: Vaméri
March 01, 2012 4:51 AM
China was so afraid that there is potential huge influx of North Koreans refugees crossing border river into China NE territory. This US-NK agreement turns out benefitual China the most. South Koreans may make huge contibution to hungry North Korea sooner than we think.

by: Jed
March 01, 2012 4:11 AM
China has always used NK as a proxy army to thwart and accupy americas government, This new deal in the end will not work when china gives nk the order to start acting stupid again.

by: Sampson
March 01, 2012 2:38 AM
240,000 tons of food is not very much .. It's kinda a cheap offering ..

by: hamad part 2 of 2
March 01, 2012 2:29 AM
the Nuke power which North has got whereas it has strong ties with China which has been so eager to take the role of US as leader of our world before 2017.

by: hamad part 1 of 2
March 01, 2012 2:28 AM
Those sudden steps of North Korea are scaring me whereas it has just threatened to retaliate against recent training between US and South Korea . Not only that, China has welcomed the agreement like it did with Burma . What is going on under the water ? It is very difficult to believe in those intentions meanwhile it could hide dreadful reactions . The problem is nobody could estimate

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