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Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 22:20

Satellite: China seeks DPRK restraint

By Xinhua

Satellite: China seeks DPRK restraint
Republic of Korea (ROK) residents watch a file footage about DPRK's rocket launch plans, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Feb 3, 2016. (AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon)

BEIJING - China is extremely concerned about a plan of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launch a satellite later this month, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Lu Kang told a press briefing that Beijing hopes Pyongyang to exercise restraint on the issue and deal with it prudently so as to avoid possible escalating tensions.

The DPRK is entitled to peaceful use of outer space, yet this right is restricted by resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, Lu said.

China will continue to communicate with all parties concerned to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

It is a shared responsibility of all parties concerned to maintain peace on the peninsula, and regional stability is in the interests of all sides, the spokesperson said.

A UN spokesperson said on Tuesday that three UN organizations have been informed that the DPRK plans to launch an earth-observation satellite between Feb 8 and 25.

When asked whether the DPRK's announcement of a satellite launch plan is "an unmistakable slap" in face to China, as stated by US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, the senior US diplomat for East Asia, Lu pointed at the United States.

"It is only in the years when the six-party talks have stalled and certain countries' create an outcry for constant pressure and sanctions that the DPRK has done nuclear tests once and again," Lu said.

"In this sense, the DPRK did slap some countries in the face. As for whose face the DPRK slaps, the country itself knows it well in its heart," he said.

Lu said U.S. State Secretary John Kerry also made it clear during his visit to China last week that sanctions are not an end, while the key is to resolve the issue.

As the chair of the six-party talks, which also include the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan, China has made unremitting effort to promote the denuclearization on the Peninsula and push forward parties concerned to achieve the Sept 19, 2005 Joint Statement and the Feb 13, 2007 Agreement.

In a joint statement in 2005, the DPRK said it is committed to abandoning "all nuclear weapons" and "existing nuclear programs" and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

In the 2007 Agreement, the DPRK agreed on the first step toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"Yet regrettably, the agreements have not been implemented for several reasons, which are known to all and are not caused by China," Lu said.

"We hope countries concerned can solve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue via negotiation. We do not want to see any escalation of tension. But if some countries insist on doing so, we are not able to stop them," Lu said.

He said as a close neighbor of the DPRK, China will never allow chaos or war to break out on the Peninsula.

"We will also never allow any country to reach its private goals within the framework of the denuclearization of the Peninsula," Lu said.

China firmly adheres to solving the denuclearization of the Peninsula via dialogue, he reaffirmed.

As for Chinese chief nuclear envoy Wu Dawei's visit to the DPRK, Lu confirmed that Wu is currently in Pyongyang to exchange views with the DPRK, but he declined to give details of the visit.

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