China urges all parties to seize positive signs as DPRK accepts ROK dialogue offer

Zhang Tao

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday called on all parties to seize the positive signs in the Korean Peninsula situation and help the issue return to the right track of peaceful settlement via talks.

The comments came after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday accepted the Republic of Korea's (ROK) offer to hold a senior-level, inter-governmental dialogue aimed at improving inter-Korean relations on Jan. 9.

The DPRK's dispatch of its delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the ROK, scheduled for February, will also be on the agenda of the talks, according to Baek Tae-hyung, spokesman of Seoul's unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

"China has noticed the latest development. As a close neighbor, China welcomes and supports the DPRK and ROK in their positive moves to smooth relations," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing.

Geng said China hopes the international community will show support and work to find a path to easing tensions, increasing mutual trust and resuming dialogue on the Korean Peninsula issue.

"China has played a constructive role to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue and advocates all parties return to dialogue amid this complex situation," Geng said. "We hope all parties involved will work with China, play their due role, shoulder their responsibilities, and seize the positive signs in the Korean Peninsula situation to put the issue back on the track of peaceful settlement through dialogue."

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year's Day address that his country was willing to send a delegation to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and to talk with the ROK about it.

On Wednesday, a cross-border communication channel in the truce village of Panmunjom was reopened amid rising expectations for the DPRK's participation in the Winter Olympics in the ROK.


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