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Friday, January 8, 2016, 09:40

Beijing 'maximizes' nuclear issue efforts

By Zhang Yunbi

Beijing said on Thursday that it had "maximized its efforts" in addressing the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, dismissing accusations that it had not done enough.

After Pyongyang conducted what it called its first hydrogen bomb test on Wednesday, a senior official with the Foreign Ministry "elaborated China's stance (on the test) to the leading official of the DPRK embassy in Beijing", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday.

Speculation of countermeasures was unfolding on the Korean Peninsula, including a report that Washington and Seoul were considering steps amid rising international criticism of the DPRK's fourth test since 2006.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said on Thursday that military leaders from the Republic of Korea and the United States discussed the deployment of US "strategic assets" in the wake of the test, The Associated Press reported.

Hua said China "expresses concerns over the development of the situation" and the country is calling on all parties to "get back on the track of resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through the Six-Party Talks".

The talks, which grouped the DPRK, the ROK, the US, China, Japan and Russia, stalled in December 2008. The first three nuclear tests were carried out in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

Yang Xiyu, a senior researcher on Korean Peninsula studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said it is a "lose-lose" situation and no single party is winning after the test.

The peninsula is drifting away from the goal of denuclearization, and any countermeasures taken by Seoul and Washington might only worsen the security situation on the peninsula, Yang said.

Meanwhile, China "participated in a constructive manner" in an emergency closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua.

While doubts remained about the DPRK's claim of testing a hydrogen bomb, the UN meeting "strongly" condemned the nuclear test.

A media statement said the Security Council members will "begin to work immediately on ... measures in a new Security Council resolution".

In Seoul, Cho Tae-Yong, the first deputy chief of the Republic of Korea's presidential security office, said on Thursday that the country will resume propaganda broadcasts beginning at noon on Friday with loudspeakers in border areas with the DPRK.

Earlier broadcasts were stopped after an agreement was reached on Aug 25 to end a standoff with the DPRK.

Xinhua and AFP contributed to this story.

zhangyunbi@chinadaily.com.cn

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