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Top Nuke Envoys Of South Korea, China Hold Talks On Pyongyang

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SEOUL, May 3 (IANS): The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and China met here on Tuesday to discuss security situations on the Korean Peninsula amid concerns about North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats.

Liu Xiaoming, Beijing’s special representative on Korean Peninsula affairs, is on his first visit to Seoul since assuming the post in April 2021 at a time of heightened tensions over Pyongyang’s recent spate of missile launches and reported signs of preparations for another nuclear test, reports Yonhap News Agency.

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In his first public activity here, he had a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk, at the foreign ministry building, apparently to share their assessments of the regional security situation.

Liu expressed concerns over the rising tension on the peninsula and reaffirmed China’s commitment to play a “positive role” but said the key to a resolution to the issue is in the hands of Pyongyang and Washington.

“China is concerned about the tense situation on the Peninsula. We call on all parties to stay cool-headed and exercise restraint, and we disapprove (of) actions by any party that could escalate tension,” he wrote on his Twitter page Sunday.

China is ready to work with South Korea to push forward “the political settlement process” on the matter, he said, describing the two sides as “important cooperation partners.”

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Last month, the chief South Korean and US nuclear envoys agreed to jointly push for a new UN Security Council resolution against the North for its recent missile launches. But its prospects remain dim, with China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members, having maintained a lukewarm stance toward imposing additional sanctions on the North.

On Tuesday afternoon, Liu will visit the Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs, for a meeting with Vice Minister Choi Young-joon, followed by a courtesy call on Unification Minister Lee In-young.

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