MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reiterated his country’s commitment to the removal of nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency has reported.
“We are firmly committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," Wang said in a speech at the Chinese Foreign Ministry ahead of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.
North Korea is not a member of APEC, but its nuclear weapons are a topic of discussion for its 21 members at the annual summit, whose members include China, Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea and 16 other nations in the Pacific region.
Members of the six-party talks, whose goal is the peaceful resolution of the issue of North Korean nuclear weaponry have been hoping to resume negotiations.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said earlier this month that the countries “should swiftly resume dialogue and negotiations.”
The Chinese media has also criticized Pyongyang for its “lack of integrity” on the nuclear issue, making recent North Korean diplomatic gestures “meaningless” until the country makes a genuine commitment on “the most important question,” its nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, the US has floated plans to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea, a move which may delay the resumption of security talks, South Korean media said earlier this month.
Earlier this week the United States sent special envoy Sydney Seiler to Seoul to discuss the potential for the resumption of negotiations. Seiler is scheduled to visit China and Japan in the upcoming days, with his South Korean counterpart planning to do the same, South Korean media reported.
Russia has welcomed these steps, the Russian Foreign Ministry said last week. "We always proceed from the need to move in this direction. And if the American side takes adequate steps and makes the effort, not just [demands] to North Korea to meet one-sided requirements, we will definitely welcome it," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti.
The six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, involving China, North Korea, the USA, Russia, South Korea and Japan, began in 2003. In exchange for economic aid, Washington and Tokyo have used the talks as a way to persuade Pyongyang to cease its' nuclear research and shutter those nuclear sites which have the ability to be used for the creation of nuclear weaponry. The latest round of talks were held in 2007.