China says hopes for US-North Korea peace deal
BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes the United States and North Korea can reach agreement on a peace deal, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Tuesday, as the two countries leaders met in Singapore.
Speaking before US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a “comprehensive” document following a historic summit in Singapore, Wang said China welcomed their talks and supported them.
“We hope that the two countries’ highest leaders can dispel interference, establish mutual trust, overcome difficulties and can reach a basic consensus on promoting and achieving the denuclearisation of the peninsula and promoting and establishing a peace mechanism for the peninsula,” Wang told reporters.
“Of course, we are willing to see all relevant sides making positive efforts on this. China will continue to play our constructive role,” he added.
China views the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as a security issue, and what is most important is for the United States and North Korea to sit down to find a way to resolve their problems, Wang said.
“At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula, to resolve North Korea’s reasonable security concerns. I think nobody can doubt the extremely unique and important role China has played. And this role will continue.”
The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and a state of war still technically exists between the two Koreas.
Lasting peace has obvious benefits for China, especially in bolstering the development of its rust-belt and landlocked northeast which borders North Korea and would suffer in the even of conflict.
Beijing has key strategic interests when it comes to North Korea, and has long feared that a collapse of its isolated neighbour could push waves of refugees into northeastern China, or that nuclear war on the Korean peninsula could contaminate swathes of the country.
North Korea also serves as a valuable buffer state between China and US forces in South Korea.