China renews diplomatic push to end North Korean crisis
BEIJING: China renewed a diplomatic push to try to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis with coinciding top-level visits to North and South.
A Chinese delegation arrived in North Korea on an unannounced trip on Saturday. Six-party working-level talks in Beijing on the communist North’s nuclear weapons programme have yet to materialise.
The delegation of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top advisory body, was led by vice-chairman Li Zhaozhuo, the North’s KCNA news agency said.
It gave no details but coincided with a visit to South Korea by the CPPCC national committee chairman, Jia Qinglin, who stressed the need to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“Jia noted that the reconciliation process on the Korean peninsula has registered progress time and again for the past years, and the six-party talks on the Korean peninsular nuclear issue have yielded some positive results,” Xinhua said.
China, the biggest ally of reclusive and impoverished North Korea, has hosted three rounds of talks in which South and North Korea, the United States, Japan and Russia have taken part. China is also North Korea’s biggest donor, but also enjoys a strong economic relationship with the South — two-way trade between China and South Korea reached $41.3 billion in the first half of 2004, Xinhua said. afp