BEIJING – China asked the United States and North Korea on Wednesday to be flexible and not throw away the hard-won rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, following a threat by North Korea to cancel an upcoming summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.
“This hard-won distention is worth all parties making changes and we hope that they can follow the spirit of dialogue and reconciliation and cooperation and the Panmunjom declaration,” Chinese spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference.
He added that the countries involved in the rapprochement process must “show their understanding of each other’s legitimate concerns” and “work together to achieve mutual trust” to “consolidate the improved situation on the peninsula.”
China’s statement comes after reports that North Korea was planning to cancel the summit between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and US President Donald Trump, scheduled to be held on June 12 in Singapore.
A statement signed by Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had said “if the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such a dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-US summit.”
The Chinese spokesperson said that “for a long time, China has maintained that all relevant parties should take concrete measures to accumulate mutual trust” and reiterated its “suspension-for-suspension approach” (the end of nuclear tests by North Korea in exchange for an end to military maneuvers by the US near North Korea) to find a peaceful solution.
“Only dialogue and concrete outcomes will bring stability and peace in the region,” he said.