Beijing, China | AFP | China said Tuesday that the North Korean nuclear crisis had reached a “turning point” and it was time to enter peace talks.
The comments by foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying came as the verbal sparring between the United States and North Korea took a less bellicose tone on Tuesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said he would hold off on a threatened missile strike near Guam, though he warned the highly provocative move would go ahead in the event of further “reckless actions” by Washington.
Top US officials, meanwhile, said Washington was not interested in regime change in Pyongyang, and South Korean President Moon Jae-In warned that there could be no war without his country’s consent.
“It’s the turning point to make a resolute decision and return to peace talks,” Hua said when asked about Moon’s comments at a regular news briefing.
China, which is Pyongyang’s main diplomatic ally, has repeatedly called on the United States and North Korea to tone down their bellicose rhetoric in recent days.
“We now hope that all the concerned parties, in what they say and what they do, can contribute to extinguishing the fire (of the tense situation), rather than adding fuel to the fire,” Hua said.
Beijing has also pressed for a return of six-nation talks that have been dormant since 2009.
Hua applauded the “positive” article written by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the The Wall Street Journal in which they say that America has “no interest” in regime change in Pyongyang.
“We hope the US can translate this positive statement into concrete DPRK-related policies,” Hua said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name. “At the same time, we call on the DPRK to respond” to the positive statement.