China: Rare chance for Korean peace shouldn’t slip away
China has warmly welcomed the agreements reached in a summit between South and North Koreas in Pyongyang, saying Beijing will strongly support both sides for more talks aimed at reducing tension in the region.
In a reaction to the agreements, China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi described the joint declaration by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North’s leader Kim Jong-un as an opportunity for peace in the Korean Peninsula.
On Wednesday, the second day of their summit, Moon and Kim signed a joint statement, agreeing to take a step closer to peace by turning the peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”
Wang said in a statement on Thursday that that Beijing “absolutely cannot let this hard-to-come-by opportunity for peace slip away once again.”
Earlier on Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had noted the positive effects of the three-day talks.
The South Korean president said the North’s leader had also agreed to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility but only if the United States took “corresponding measures.”
Kim and Moon also agreed on measures to revive economic cooperation.
The summit, however, triggered mixed reactions from political parties in South Korea, with some opposition lawmakers calling for an “official announcement” by Kim of his country’s complete denuclearization before talking about any future economic collaboration.
Leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party kim Sung-tae said he hoped to see “real results” from the event rather than a “mere spectacle” of denuclearization.
“Without providing with a full accounting of the size of the North’s nuclear warhead stockpile and missile arsenal, announcing a permanent end to the Korean War would be absurd,” he said.
Meanwhile, , the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, as well as the liberal-leaning Party for Democracy and Peace, and the Justice Party, openly supported the summit, calling it “historical” and “deeply moving.”
The news of the joint declaration was also extensively reported by North Korean media on Thursday.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reproduced the full text of the statement, which included Pyongyang’s pledge to dismantle its missile test facility and launch pads in Dongchang-ri and Kim’s promise to visit Seoul for a summit.
The official newspaper of the North’s ruling party, the Rodong Sinmun, also provided detailed coverage of other schedules for Moon and his entourage during their visit to Pyongyang.
The daily allocated its first three pages to the coverage of the summit agreements and published about 20 related photos.